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Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by schon007, Jul 26, 2006.
I will be starting at VCOM next month and after all of my research I have heard none of this information. I have heard nothing but good things. Where did you get your information?
I will be starting at VCOM in the fall and thus far have not heard of any lack of respect, until this post. A close friend of mine is finishing up his first year and he loves the faculty and staff. It is unfortunate about the altering curriculum, however, VCOM is a young school and is trying to implement a system that will be most beneficial to the students. Personally, I have only heard good things about VCOM and its faculty...i guess i'll be finding out soon. I was accepted to another school, but turned them down b/c VCOM was my top choice.
All schools have problems.. No school is perfect. As I start my MSIII year, I feel totally prepared by the education that I have received from VCOM. I have no idea what you are talking about grades plummetting from changes. The only time my grade dropped slightly was becasue they were following a missprint on the calender and someone called them on it so they lived up to the mistake.
You have to make the best of any education at any school. If the profs arent teaching you, then you have to teach yourself. Life is what you make of it.
I am glad that I went to VCOM and not the other schools where I was accepted (2 of them were MD schools, 3 were DO). I can not believe just how much I really know. I wish I knew more and I wish I could remember half of what I have learned, but I know that I have gotten an awesome education.
Good luck to you all in the class of 2010. It's a roller coster ride, but you will be ok.
I haven't been on SDN too long, but for my short while here I go through a lot of threads and I have not seen anyone posting problems about VCOM.
It looks to be a pretty good school
I am currently doing my rotation with some vcom students and they tell me that they have not yet had their ERAS tokens. Can any other student from vcom confirm this.
The interactions that I have had with the faculty and staff at VCOM have been very positive. I applied to other DO schools last year and chose VCOM because of the interactions that I had with the school. The people at the school are dedicated to putting the students first and are very willing to help out where they can, unlike other schools who rely on subjective rankings and employ a take it or leave it attitude.
I just took my last exam as an MS1 at VCOM today (if I seem somewhat incoherent at times, that's due to the alcohol I am ingesting as I type, which is also somewhat responsible for my longwindedness). Overall, I'm fairly happy with my choice to stay in Blacksburg and go to VCOM. Most of the professors that I have had direct interactions with have been rather pleasant and helpful. There are some definite gross exceptions (if you come here, you'll figure those out shortly), but that is by far not the rule. I've also had some fun experiences through the school outside of class. VCOM currently hosts the only student chapter of the Virginia Rural Health Association. Recently, we sent several students and two attendings to Wise Co. for RAM, and had a blast. We primarily worked triage (as MS1s), but have been told that we will have MS2s in the medical tents next year. We also took over the OMM tent from the local Osteopathic hospital and started working on people when not in triage (got a fair bit of supervised practice on actual patients with real pathology). Now that we have the contacts, we will be participating in such events more often. I enjoyed this opportunity immensely, and I'm not even interested in primary care (Emergency Medicine or Anesthesia/Critical Care for me).
This is not to say, however, that the school does not have its problems. Recently, there have been a few knew-jerk reactions from admin that I have been rather unhappy about (*coughanatomylabpracticalscough*), but that is life. I hear similar stories from friends who went to other med schools.
As for changing the curriculum multiple times during the block, I have no idea what class that happened to. It certainly wasn't my class, and seems not to be AmyB's, so maybe that occurred to the very first class. They're still trying to find a proper fit, and change things regularly, but generally during a block. The most I've seen change in a given block, so far, was a few lectures shifted around as professors' schedules changed.
If you have further questions, PM me.
Typically, I don't get involved in replying to these forums but I thought this required some response. First, VCOM is a fairly new school. The first class will graduate in the Spring 07 (not too far away, finally). Yes, there have been a few bumps along the way (expected!). The curriculum has under-gone adjustments (but better for the student for the most part). The faculty is very student-oriented. They want to see every student become successful (those that are not in the program now had personal or academic issues, which included failing at remediations).
Some students feel that they were not treated like adults. I dont know about all classes but I do know for a fact within my class that many students show up to class at their convenience (if they attend at all), violate the casual business dress code (no jeans, no tshirts, no tennis shoes), show up mid way through exam time, etc. When these things happen, then why should we expect to be treated like mature adults (if we dont act like it). We are entering a profession that has some high expectations, so we have to start accepting some responsibility some time. Okay, so then a student says "well we shouldn't have a dress code, we shouldnt have an attendance policy...etc". You know the rules before you accept a position at the school (some schools require guys to wear a tie, and if students arent willing to accept that, then they dont go to med school there).
The school is very active in missions (within the US & overseas). Students/faculty assisted after Hurricane Katrina; the Tsunami; Wise Co Rural Access Medicine, Grundy RAM, & not to mention many other programs for the needy (Jonesville Va Health Clinic, Toys for Tots for rural areas, and the list goes on and on). The school has clinics set up overseas (ie Dominican Republic, an orphanage for HIV + children, and much more). Students should be proud to be a part of a school that is so active in trying to care for others throughout the world, including the US.
Someone asked about ERAS. Yes, I have my ERAS. Yes, many have not received it yet (but there is plenty of time before the deadlines). Why were ERAS tokens delayed? Many post-rotation evaluations were not completed or submitted (thus delaying progression to MS IV). VCOM is working on a better system to improve how evaluations are done (see, this is an example of positive change for the student's benefit).
Finally, how is the VCOM reputation in the public? Locally and extended rural areas are becoming more aware of the school. Many, and I emphasize Many, in these areas are very thankful and supportive of VCOM. I've encountered alot of patients who were thankful that the school was taking an interest in helping the areas in which serve.
I'm glad that VCOM gave me an opportunity to be part of the student population there. Things aren't perfect-but continually changing and improving. I highly recommend VCOM Thanks for taking time to read my input on this matter. Stay safe out there, take care, and good luck in your medical educational endeavors (regardless of where you decide to go).
I'm an MSIV (aka the first class at VCOM) and I can tell you to be weary of the school. They are great, really great, PR (public relations) folk. They can take a pile of dog poo and spin it til you'd think it was diamonds.
That has its good and bad features. You will like your interview. Everything printed in papers/magazines will be excellent. They have zero deficiencies in their accredidation process. On paper VCOM looks excellent.
A number of faculty dislike the administration and have left because of it (VCOM will tell you they left for other reasons). The administration enjoys micromanaging the school, not really allowing any freedom by the profs to teach how they see fit.
Clinical rotations are still a mess. A number of clinicians still don't have contracts and more and more stop taking students due to this and/or getting fed up with dealing with VCOM.
As is somewhat evident from my classes COMLEX scores, at least during my first 2 years, VCOM did not teach at all toward the boards.
Many of my class indeed does not have ERAS tokens yet. VCOM will tell you that is because we don't have all of our eval uations from 3rd year in yet. I know for a fact that VCOM has lost a number of Evals that then get blamed on the students even though they have lost them, and now my classmates are late on their apps because of VCOMs error.
The school right now looks great on paper. They are, however, in a precarious situation with their students and staff. There's too much lying and "Adjustment of facts".
All that being said, they are improving. From what I've heard, their academics have improved from when I was in classes (BUT they did lose an excellent Pharm prof and I haven't heard of an official replacement yet). They have overhauled most of the courses at least once and a number of them have improved.
They are adding more & more clinical rotations, but from my unofficial observations, I'm not sure they're adding enough compared to how many they've already lost. They claim a whole bunch of rotations all around in NC, NJ, PA, Georgia, etc. but last I heard, there are like 2 spots at 1 hospital in each place and 98% of their rotations are still right near VCOM. None of this is counting the missions, which I honestly know zero about, so I can't honestly or fairly comment.
VCOM should be a good school in a few years, possibly after the administration "persues other careers", but for now I'd be a little leary.
Just based on my first 4 weeks of med school here at VCOM it seems to me that they are teaching towards to boards now. They have made several references to board questions and the things that will be emphasized on the boards. They are a new school and any new school will have to work out kinks. I think it is a great school but I am brand new and do not know that much.
What were the board pass rates (COMLEX and USMLE) and mean scores for classes of 2007 and 2008???
Admin refuses to tell us.
2008 are still taking it
I would consider the source while reading these messages. I love VCOM. I turned down 3 MD schools and 2 DO schools to come here and I have never regreted it. I think someone has failed thier boards and is taking it out on the school. Me and most of my friends came to class and made decent grades, have done really well on boards (both USMLE and COMLEX). So consider the source. VCOM is a great schoole and has tought me what I needed to know to be a good doc.
Well, I think it's kind of sketchy that admin will not release the average scores for USMLE/COMLEX, especially since students at VCOM are required to take both. What is there to hide???
We're only required to take the COMLEX. The originally required both, but changed that last year. Rumors run rampant, but the administration won't confirm or deny any of them, just telling us that grades in class were a good indicator for COMLEX scores.
VCOM students are not required to take the USMLE. I just took my COMLEX today, and it felt as though I were taking a VCOM CCC(Clinical Case Correlation) test. I do think VCOM is working towards preparing students for boards.
As far as an evil Nazi Empire, I don't get that vibe. I think you just have to understand you will be treated like the least common denominator. Just like a one room school house, piss poor behavior by some slows the rest of us down. If there were any huge issues, AOA wouldn't just let it slide and give VCOM commendations for doing so well.
There are problems at any school. There are also problems in life, and some of the whiny Mommy and Daddy give me everything and I just finished undergrad and want to drive my Beamer to class folks can just kiss my ass!
Posting your whinings on this board serves me and VCOM no purpose. If it's so bad, then either
B. Get a lawyer
C. Shut the **** up!
Well, since most of us (hopefully) had/have a choice about which school to attend, all feedback, both good and bad, is useful. It seems a little defensive to use phrases like "whiny" and "shut the **** up" towards people who have a different perspective from your own. We all have different ideas about what is and what is not acceptable from a school, so I don't think it's appropriate to try to shout down VCOM's critics instead of listening to their thoughts.
Yes, it is defensive. Because there are obviously folks who don't realize that they're giving VCOM a bad name. This directly effects my chances at residencies and yes, maybe even job offers.
If you've got something to say about the administration, go and say it to them. It is a minority of folks who are upset and basically trashing the name of a good school, just because they're angry about petty stuff.
I have issues with VCOM once in a while too. They are small issues which in the long run won't amount to squat. But I don't post them on a public forum, I deal with them in a mature and rationale fashion. The Dean is available if you really have an issue. If you don't like her answer, well then that's the way it goes--ironically just like real life!
I'm here for 4 years. There will be rought spots. I want my degree to be meaningful when I'm done. Apparently some folks can't think that far ahead.
The best way to find out about the school is to talk to current students, and get a well rounded opinion of things. I think you'll find the majority of students are happy and proud of VCOM. It is the immature few who can't find more productive ways to voice their concerns that feel the need to talk trash here.
That's interesting. When I was interviewing for class of 2008, they made a big deal about being the only DO school to require students to take both COMLEX and USMLE. "We're really trying to prepare our students to succeed in the world of medicine." or something like that was what they said....
That sure lasted long.
message removed by psychbender
Actually what happened was, a DO school could not require a DO student to take the USMLE as a requirement for passing a DO school. Thats why they dropped it as a requirement. We still do have a bunch of folks that have taken the USMLE. Not half, but still a bunch.
I was kind of wondering about that as I was interviewing, but they kept making such a big deal about it all day...