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VCOM vs. NYCOM--board readiness

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franklinthedog

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Anyone willing to take this? I've got to turn in deposits by the end of next week.

Here's my concern, I'll be paying close to 200 back in loans for either school. Hence, if I don't do a scholarship, it almost forces me into doing a specialty because of the sheer magnitude of debt. That being said, my first step board scores will be so incredibly important. How many weeks does VCOM give students to study for step I. I think NYCOM gives students 6 weeks.

I am torn...VCOM is brand new, what will rotations/residencies be like? However, the staff is unparalleled and give you the impression it is their mission in life to see you do well. VCOM has a smaller student body, would the possible "extra attention" make a difference? NYCOM has a lot more students but it has established rotations in NYC. I really like NYC and would like my 3rd and 4th years there. However, the cost of living is so high in NYC. Also, many have gone before me at NYCOM and done excellent specialties. I have no doubt VCOM will be a top notch school in a decade or two, but is it worth taking the risk right now so early in their growth.

Both schools are great and I'm grateful to be in this spot, but also don't have $1500 to give away, so please help if you'd like.

franklin
 

Dr JPH

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Personally, I would go to NYCOM. VCOM has yet to prove itself and a degree from NYCOM carries its weight not only in the osteopathic community, but in NYC as well.
 

Amy B

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All schools were new once. ;)

VCOM has an absolutely fantastic staff and I see only success for its students. Our dean comes from KCOM which is well respected so I have no doubts in my mind that she knows what to make a school successful. She has recently gotten approval to build the dental school next door to VCOM. Plus a research facility for the profs as well. She has gathered staff from all over.

I would chose VCOM.................................. Oh that's right..... I already did chose VCOM. Ok, so I am not an impartial voice here, but I had a number of other choices and VCOM won out over them all. The 2007 and 20087 classes will help to pave the way to a successful school:D
 

Chrisobean

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slightly off topic, but...

i've talked to alot of DO students, (who incidentally all go to NYCOM) and they have all said they did better on the USMLE than the COMLEX.

i wonder why? is it just the differences in exam structures?

back on topic - you will no doubt get a great education at either school. i know nothing about vcom, so my opinion probably doesnt mean anything. but amy b is going there.. bonus!
one advantage of nycom is the huge hospital network they have, which will give you alot of different experiences. you can go urban or suburban or "rural", and i think this will help when residency time rolls around. a friend of mine, who is planning a medicine residency after her osteo internship, is doing a rotation at bellevue (NYU) ER, one of the busiest in the city, just for the exposure. that said, i think nycom gives you an advantage.
since the cost is similar and not an issue, i would pick more based on location. i am a city girl, and although nycom is Long Island, i still like it better than virginia.
 

wholehealth

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If it is passing the boards you are worried about, both schools will help you do this if you are a dedicated student. My personal opinion (be it biased as I am attending VCOM in the fall) is that you should make out a list of pros/cons of both schools. Class size (for me a smaller class means more personal attention), reputation of faculty, facilities, cost of living (I'm positive Blacksburg is waaaayyyyy less than Long Island which will add up to some big $ in 4 yrs.), atmosphere, clinicals, etc.....

I know clinicals may be better in NY, but I believe VCOM to be well organized for their first year (considering no clinicals have occured yet), they already have over 13 CORE hospital sites that are very excited about the new school. Also, with all of the money that has been sunk into this school, I GUARANTEE that they will be sure that the first classes pass the boards with flying colors, and considering we are required to take both board exams at VCOM, I am sure we will be prepared for both.

For me, it is all about being in a nurturing environment during the most difficult few years of my medical education. I love NY too, but the class size at NYCOM is huge, and I'll bet you'll be surrounded by gunners out there. You can always go to NY to do 4th year rotations.

Ok, enough from me, I just love VCOM and really want to help promote it. VCOM is really a jewel, and it won't take long for others to realize that.

Good luck with your decision.
 

oceandocDO

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I'm a third year at NYCOM and definitely am happy with the education I have received. I did well on the boards, but like an above poster commented, doing well on the boards is 99% up to you. The school will give you the tools, but it's up to you to do the work. Most schools have very similar preclinical years. They all use the same books and all teach the same basic science. Some have different testing formats and some have different lecture scenarios, but it's all the same biochem, physiology, anatomy, etc. Clinical years, however, are very different creatures. VCOM may have many hospitals lined up, but where are they? Mostly rural? Patient diversity and pathology? How much do you have to move? Cost of living may be higher in NY, but you also have the luxury compared to many other D.O. schools of staying in one place for third and fourth year if you want to. I imagine since Blacksburg isnt exactly the healthcare mecca that you'll be shipped around alot during the clinical years, and the cost of travel may then place your cost of living near NY, plus you'll be living out of a suitcase and who wants to do that?

People also seemed frightened by the large class size at nycom but ask any NYCOM student when they were denied personal help when they needed it.... probably never. They do a good job at breaking the class down into groups and pods for the courses and labs that need the attention. Also, one thing that people dont realize is that with all the branch campuses opening up, nycom's class size is about average if not smaller than average. I mean, all the students under the PCOM, LECOM, Tuoro, etc umbrellas may not be in one lecture hall, but the branch campuses are a bit parastitic for the first few years until they acquire the faculty and resources for their own. Until then they tend to draw time and energy away from the administration and faculty of the main campus, hence class size is artificially increased. Granted vcom may not have this predicament, yet, but class size these days in D.O. schools is only determined by the number of clinical affiliations the school can find. The more rotation slots they can garner, the more class size will increase. Nycom has the luxury of being in NYC and having 40+ hospitals under its umbrella, hence they can afford to have 250+ students b/c they simply have the room for them to train. I think vcom took 150 students into their inaugural class.... that's also pretty large for the very first class for a brand new medical school... still larger than most MD schools which have been around for 50+ years.

anyway, vcom and nycom are two different schools. You'll see different things, different types of patients and people, and have a different lifestyle at each locale. However, both will create good doctors if the student doctor is willing to work for it. Figure out which one will make you the happiest and dont look back. you'll make the right choice....

good luck.
 

wholehealth

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I was told by the administration at VCOM that all clinical sights are no further than an hour and fifteen minute drive. It is the only medical school in the area. If you want to go elsewhere for 4th year rotations, then yes, the travel, housing, etc. situation would occur for the individual. Also, VCOM is definitely not parasitic, although I can see what you are saying for the other branch campuses. VCOM is in a league of its own when it comes to being a new school. The faculty is the best of the best, not just a gathering of what they can get. They must be taking care of the profs because they were all willing to leave comfy situations to go there. During my interview, one actually got a little nostalgic about his last job and of course he was alumni of the same school, however he expressed that he was very happy with the move. Ok, enough, just wanted to clarify from the last response. I do agree with so many things that were said by oceandoc. I'm sure NYCOM is an excellent institution. They are both just REALLY different schools, it's hard to compare.
 
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