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Western U or AZCOM?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by ifkt355, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Hi, I have been accepted to both Western U. and AZCOM. I would appreciate some input about the pros and cons for both schools (costs, student-friendliness, class schedule, curriculum and etc.), from your experiences.

    Here are some facts. Western U. has offered me a nice scholarship for the first year, and AZCOM does not have any institutional scholarships. I am a non-traditional student with a family, so it is important to me to have a student-friendly school, especially that I am considering expanding my family (have more kids) during med school. I had an impression that WesternU was very friendly while I was interviewing, and obviously the scholarship helped out a lot. But the cost of living is defintely high. A lot of SDNers seem to like AZCOM because I found a lot of threads on AZCOM, not so much on WesternU.

    I have done my research, but it will be great to find out more info. , maybe something that I am not aware of, as well as any advices about choosing either school. Thanks a lot!
     
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  3. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    AZCOM Good luck.
     
  4. JMC_MarineCorps

    JMC_MarineCorps Primum non nocere
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    I am a 2nd year at Western (with a wife and 2 children) and it is a great school - no complaints. However, the cost of living in Los Angeles sucks and I would recommend going to AZCOM based soley on that. I have a friend who lives in Glendale, AZ and it is a very nice area and affordable.

    Good luck with your decision and congrats on both of your acceptances.
     
  5. lama

    lama Member
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    Lots of people with families at AZCOM. Great school. :thumbup:
     
  6. aberkovi

    aberkovi Junior Member
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    Go to Western, because that increases my chances of getting into AZCOM. Thank you.
     
  7. lawdawg80

    lawdawg80 Member
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    Go to AZCOM, help me get into COMP! self-serving? yes. but still, go there! :D
     
  8. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Thanks, JMC_MarineCorps! Is there anything else in Western you don't like, other than the cost of living? I didn't have time to check out Pomona while I was there, is it really bad? Where do students live? Thanks.

    And best of luck to those of you who are still waiting.
     
  9. MikeyLu2010

    MikeyLu2010 UT Longhorns Alumni
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    assuming your on the alternate list..i'll be helping you get into AZCOM..by taking my application off the alternate list...:D
     
  10. rahulazcom

    rahulazcom Senior Member
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    AZCOM is a very student-family friendly school. I can say that at least a 1/3 of my classmates are married or have kids. Housing in Phoenix is much more affordable than it is in LA and Phoenix isn't some shanty town by any means. You get a huge bang for your buck here in regards to lifestyle and quality of living. To me, it's a no-brainer. I would only go to COMP if I was from Los Angelas and I really wanted to guarantee that I could do a residency there when I graduated.
     
  11. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    That's what people say-AZCOM is family friendly. But while I was there interviewing, I tried to find students with family, but had a hard time. The staff, at least the ones I asked, did not know anything about students. When I was in Western, the staff there gave me a long list of people with family and kids for me to talk to. That's why I got the impression that Western is more student-friendly, and family-friendly. But again, that's just from my experience, I could be wrong.

    Pomona is really not a good area, according to most of people. I didn't have time to even check out Pomona while I was there, so didn't see the bad part. I am going visit Pheonix really soon, since I didn't have to time check out Pheonix last time either (all I remembered was that it was very very hot). It is probably a better time to visit Pheonix in the winter time, maybe my impression will change.

    I am just impressed by how many SDNers like AZCOM, and surprised that not that many Western U students are there to defend Western U. So please keep the comments coming. Thanks!
     
  12. TheFish005

    TheFish005 Senior Member
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    I agree that you absolutely should look at location in choosing a medical school. Many people have said 'Pomona is not a great area.' The thing is, most of us don't actually LIVE in Pomona (i do, and have absolutely no problems). Many people commute from surrounding towns. Campus is very safe; security is highly visible and very vigilant. there have been a few break-ins lately, but these are the first incidences i've heard of in 1.5 years on campus, and security has stepped up in past few weeks because of it. the school is great; the level of education is what you'd expect of an accreditted medical school. the school did used to be a strip mall, and the outsides of buildings don't necessarily look like the classic academic institution you see in movies, but once you enter the buildings, it's exactly what you'd expect. our tech department has wired every classroom for internet (not wireless yet, unfortunately) as well as automatically recording and posting every hour of lecture from 8-5 mon-fri. the faculty honestly seems to care what the students think; i've noticed many positive changes in the short time i've been here, many at our suggestion. the bottom line is that when choosing between 2 schools, location is important, but it isn't necessarily the MOST important thing. evaluate how you felt when you visited for your interview. did the students seem happy to be there and convey a positive attitude? did you feel like you could fit in and live there for 4 years? I obviously can't comment on AZCOM's atmosphere, but I would say my class at COMP is very chill and happy to be here. the level of education at the 2 schools is probably equally competitive, so that leaves your own impressions. and finally, don't let anyone else make your decision for you. take everything everyone's said and compare them to your own impressions, then decide. remember, these forums are primarily OPINION. and those are like rectums, everyone's got one, they all stink.
     
  13. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Thank you, TheFish005. I agree with you, location is not the most important thing. Truly, when I visited the school, I thought the facility was fine, didn't bother me that it was a strip mall. How does the class schedule look like? Do you have 8-5 most of the days?

    Thank you!
     
  14. Pewl

    Pewl The Dude Abides
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    I'd go with western because of it's connections in Southern California.
     
  15. TheFish005

    TheFish005 Senior Member
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    that's actually one of the positive changes for this year as opposed my first year. you will not be in class 8-5 most days anymore. i think it's only happened to us 2 or 3 times all semester this year, whereas laster year, it was pretty routine (especially during neuro). i believe this is the same as the first year schedule this year; most days you'll be out either by noon, or 3. occasionally you may be here till, 5, but it won't be a regular thing anymore.

    the first year schedule is now set up so you only have gross anatomy, omm, and ecm (essentials of clinical medicine) for the first several weeks (not sure exactly how long it was... 7? 9? weeks? first years help me out). omm and ecm continue through the majority of the semester. after anatomy (including head and neck) you'll take a course which consists of histology, embryology, biochemistry, and genetics all rolled into one, meaning you'll have two weeks of lecture on those topics, then one big exam. i believe they have 3 exams for that class, and that's the whole of your first semester! second semester begins with another combo class of pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, and immunology. these combo classes are like an 'intro' to each of those topics; don't be fooled, for intro classes, they're still pretty detailed. after that, you start systems, where you'll see all of the above classes as they relate to the given system.
     
  16. rahulazcom

    rahulazcom Senior Member
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    I'm honestly not being biased. If I was 5 years younger and single, I would probably go to COMP because I have heard their class generally tends to be younger and single. It's not about comparing schools and arguing which one is better. I don't think AZCOM is better than COMP or vice versa.

    Each school offers certain features that will appeal to certain students. I know that family oriented people love AZCOM because that is what the school is known for. I'm married w/out children and I feel like I'm the norm at AZCOM.
     
  17. jhug

    jhug 1K Member
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    i would agree with the last post...
    COMP seems to have a more single and diverse student body...my class at AZCOM is probably 2/3 married (most of which have kids) and that makes it very nice for the spouses too. I would comfortably say that the singles are the minority at AZCOM.
    I'm not too sure about the idea of the area around the school being affordable...since i started school buying a house has increased substantially, rent seems to be over $1000 just about everywhere (then again, we comparing it to LA:))
    The teaching at AZCOM is phenominal (and i think our board pass rates reflect that)...they are very dedicated to our learning. The big complaints regarding AZCOM on SDN (some justified, many not) have been regarding rotation availability in the valley...every day that is becoming more and more a mute point...hospital rotations are opening for us at a near daily rate...and we still have the luxury of being able to go anywhere anytime (which many of my buddies at COMP seem to envy) I couldn't be happier with my choice of programs! Any other questions?
     
  18. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Just re-visited AZCOM last week. I just had the impression that the staff there were just not very helpful. I have tried multiple times to get the email or phone number of a current student with family and kids at AZCOM to talk to, but got no response!! Even when I was there and asked them right in front of their face! I really would like to believe that AZCOM is family-friendly and student-friendly, but I am really disappointed. In contrast, while I was in COMP, the staff and students were really helpful and I was able to talk to several students with family and kids there.

    Also, AZCOM seems to have a very long classtime, 8-5 for most of the days. When do people with family find time to study on their own if in fact they have to spend all day in class?

    Now for COMP students, can anyone tell me how your MSIII and MSIV experiences like? Does COMP offer quality rotation program? I heard about lack of supervision during rotation years in COMP. How about NWT program?

    I'd appreciate your information!
     
  19. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    The teaching at AZCOM is phenominal (and i think our board pass rates reflect that)...they are very dedicated to our learning. The big complaints regarding AZCOM on SDN (some justified, many not) have been regarding rotation availability in the valley...every day that is becoming more and more a mute point...hospital rotations are opening for us at a near daily rate...and we still have the luxury of being able to go anywhere anytime (which many of my buddies at COMP seem to envy) I couldn't be happier with my choice of programs! Any other questions?[/QUOTE]

    Thank you , Jhug. Could you elaborate a bit more on the rotation program? What do you mean that you can go anywhere anytime, and what hospitals are opening and available?
     
  20. lama

    lama Member
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    You've had atleast 3 people here on SDN tell you what it is like to be an AZCOM student with a family. What more do you need to ask? We've already told you what it was like and what our oppinion of the school is. Did you need to see someone face to face, check their ID badge before you believe them?

    More importantly, I'd like to remind you that you CHOSE to go to medical school and you CHOSE the lifestyle that demands a great deal of time each day. Making a decision on which school spends more time in the classroom is ridiculous. Your here to work and if your not in the classroom, you should be somewhere studying. If you think one school is going to give you the opportunity succeed with minimal effort or time commitment on your part, you will have a rude awakening.

    With regards to the lack of help from the admissions people. Personally, I dont deal a lot of with the administrative people for the university. I don't know if they were giving you attitude or whether they just couldn't give you the information because of policy. You have to understand that some schools have privacy policies that don't allow the distribution of a student's private information to anyone who asks. I would spend less time forming your oppinion of a school by the admissions staff and more time speaking to the professors and current students. It shouldn't have been hard to find either of those on your "visit".
     
  21. cdreed

    cdreed Senior Member
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    I'm a MSIII at AZCOM. I am married, have 3 kids and a dog. AZCOM is a very family friendly school. Feel free to pm me. If you'd like, we can meet for coffee to talk. I'll be as objective as possible.

    As far as the long school days, you're absolutely right. Most programs are in class from about 8 to 1ish each day. AZCOM is doable, however. You will just need to learn to manage time wisely. Not all our classes are mandatory. You will soon figure out which ones are safe to skip and/or how to maximize your time outside the classroom. I had mixed feelings about the long days before I realized that I could still be successful and do most of my studying at home. And I really liked the long summer vacation between years 1 and 2.

    Either way, med school is going to be rough and will affect your family life to some extent. How much is really up to you. But it can be done, and if you're consciously thinking about your family, you will make appropriate decisions.

    I wish you the best with your decision and your future endeavors. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Cyndi
     
  22. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Thank you, Cyndi! I wish I could have met you while I was there. You are exactly the person I would like to talk to - a student and a mom. I will PM you.

    Lama, I appreciate your input. However, it is this kind of unfriendly atttitude that turns people away. In response to your first comment, Yes, it would really be nice to talk to someone in similar situation face to face, because I do have other questions, and I much prefer talk to someone if possible. About your second comment, medical school is going to be very time demanding, which I completely understand it. But when you have very young children and when they are sick and can't go to daycare and there are no one else around to help, it is a difference between heaven and hell if you can spare sometime off to take care of your children. And also, people have different study styles, and for me personally, I need time to review the lectures on my own. So with a 8-5 schedule and then family responsbility, I much prefer a shorter class time. One of the best school I interviewed (a very high ranking MD school) has only 8-noon class daily, and they have excellent education. Now lastly, medical school is going to be tough, and I want to be around people who are friendly and helpful, and I have to make my decision based on what I observed. I wish I had the chance to meet with a student or faculty during my visit, maybe I would have had a better impression about AZCOM.
     
  23. trinitrotoluene

    trinitrotoluene Senior Member
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    So where do COMP students actually live? Can you name some cities and tell us what they are like?
     
  24. rahulazcom

    rahulazcom Senior Member
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    I laugh at the notion of having to defend AZCOM as a family friendly school because one of the biggest complaints about the school in the past is that it consisted of too many students who were older, married and had families. Trust me my friend, you won't be alone if you matriculate here. :laugh:

    I'm pretty suprised you didn't have a chance to interact with students. Two of my classmates and study partners stayed with a student during their interview. Plenty of AZCOM students volunteer to allow prospective students to stay with them if they need to. Did you request to stay with a student during your interview? Did you PM any current AZCOM students on SDN? I didn't receive a PM from you. Also, during the interview, students have lunch with current students. During my interview, an MSII and MSIII answered every question I had regarding the school. They were not paid to endorse the school and answered all my questions sincerely. It really suprises me that no one bothered to help you.

    This is a very legitimate complaint but this schedule only applies to the MS1 year. Most of the MS II's get done with class by 2 PM. However, you are correct in that the MSI year has an 8-4 type of schedule at least 3 days per week. I feel ICM is a little too long. And in my humble opinion, I think the Physiology and Biochemistry workshops were a waste of time.

    But I agree with the others. What would you normally be doing if you were not in medical school, most likely be working from 8-5 anyway correct? Instead of working at a job from 8-5, you are going to class from 8-5. If you need to skip certain classes, you can safely do so without worry since all the information is tested straight out of the note packets. And don't be fooled by other medical school's 8-12 noon schedule. My sisted attended a medical school like this. They still had to do their own anatomy dissections on their own time and would go to the lab in the late evening and spend 3-4 hours dissecting without supervision from faculty. Most medical schools have this type of set-up. At AZCOM, that 8-4 schedule includes your anatomy lab time in which will have TA's and 5 or 6 instructors in the lab with you helping you and guiding you.. You only dissect twice a week and then you can go the lab any time you like to review structures.

    A lot of people with families manage quite well during the first year. They come home between 3-5PM and study for a few hours and then spend the rest of the evening with their families. They study all day Saturday and Sunday. You get breaks at the end of each quarter during your first year. During your MSII year, you get a week off for Thanksgiving. You don't get Spring break but you do finish school a week early

    I wish you the best in your decision but please don't avoid AZCOM because you have the impression it doesn't have enough students with families. That would be like avoiding New York City because you heard there are not enough skyscrapers there. It's the furthest thing from the truth. COMP is an excellent school too so you can' t go wrong with either school. Good Luck
     
  25. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    rahulacom, thank you for the post and you made some good points. I am glad to meet some friendly AZCOM students here. I will PM you. Thanks.
     
  26. TheFish005

    TheFish005 Senior Member
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    Deleting double post - see next message.
     
  27. TheFish005

    TheFish005 Senior Member
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    I am one of the few brave soles who actually lives in Pomona. It's really not that bad, I'm in a townhouse in a gated community less than a mile from school. During first year, I lived in Rancho Cucamonga, which is really nice, a little cheaper, but a pretty good commute to school (20-30 minutes with no traffic or using the carpool lane). Claremont, Montclaire, and Upland are where most students tend to live. Those towns are less than 15 minutes from school. Chino, and Chino Hills are also pretty popular. A little further out are Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, and Covina. That's about as far as you would want to be with traffic being what it is.

    Claremont and Chino Hills are really nice, but a little pricey. Montclaire and Upland are a little more reasonably priced (if you can consider anywhere in So Cal reasonable that is) and nearly as nice.
     
  28. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Thanks, TheFish005. How expensive is renting and how about buying a house around that area? Is the traffic really bad? When I interviewed there, I drove from Ontario to Redland, then to Pomona, and to the big outdoor mall, and back to Ontario. The traffic wasn't bad when I was there. Maybe I just got lucky that day.
     
  29. TheFish005

    TheFish005 Senior Member
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    obviously i don't know your situation, but i would not recommend buying a house on a med student salary. if you already have some equity and/or a second income from a spouse, it might be worth looking into, but be warned, if you're moving from out of state, you'll be shocked to see what homes are going for in so cal right now. appartments and rental homes vary in price from around 900/mo for a one bedroom up to 3000/mo for a large house. (you might be able to find cheaper than 900 but not in a place you'd want to live) it really depends on whether you'll be living alone, with family/roommates, house/townhouse, or appartment. I used rent.com when i was looking to move from out of state, then made a trip a few months before i wanted to move to lock down a place. that site is good for appartments, but not so good for houses. my roommates and i used a local realtor to find the house we moved into for second year. good luck!
     
  30. njaqua

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    Searching rent.com and rentnet.com I've seen apartments for slightly less than $900 (~$800) in Upland, CA. According to previous threads Upland seems decent and many students live there. Anyone have any comments regarding Upland?
    The one thing that surprised me is most apartments in the area do not come with a refrigerator. You have to buy one or rent one for ~$30/month. One place said it was because on the coast there is so much trouble with mold.
     
  31. ifkt355

    ifkt355 Member
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    Thanks for the housing advices! My husband have a job interview at Passedena, and is going there next week. He will go look around the area to help us make a decision if living in SoCal is suitable for us.

    Any suggestions about where to live we want to find a place somewhere in between Passedena and Pomona)? What's a good area (safe and have good schools for my children)? What's the price range for buying a house(3 bedrooms) and/or renting? Any website we can look into for buying?

    Thanks a lot.
     

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