Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

What Applicants Don't Seem to Understand

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Jinyaoysiu, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. Jinyaoysiu

    Jinyaoysiu Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    1
    Applicants don't seem to understand what factors are seriously important when it comes to choosing a school. It's not the campus, not the facility, and not even the basic science education. All that mentioned before is only about the 1st 2 years you spend in med school. What's really important is the clinical education, the 3rd and 4th year. Ask anyone in residency now. That's the most important factor and could either make or break for you on the residency program that you will really want.

    So my recommendation would be to go to a school with a structured 3rd/4th years, or even one with a good reputation, and work your ass off 3rd/4th years. It's cool that if you decide that the campus...etc is what you care most about, but at least you've made a conscious decision about it, instead of ending up in your 3rd/4th year or when you're applying for residency programs and then wonder how come no one has told you about it when you decided to pick a school for its campus, or friendliness, or the library.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. jcr_massage

    jcr_massage BodyworkSweety
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Since you brought it up, I'm not quite sure how to go about finding out those things? Which schools do you think have a structured 3rd and 4th year and where can I find info about that stuff, since websites and brochures for all schools are obviously all rosy with no highlighted negatives listed. Where do we get the real info on schools like, what their 3rd and 4th years look like, residency matches, student feedback etc.?

    Blessings
    Bodyworksweety
     
  4. medmom

    medmom Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I agree I have had a hard time finding this as well.
     
  5. bnoosha

    bnoosha Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I am also interested in this question...
    any feedback would be greatly appreciated :)

     
  6. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    7,611
    Likes Received:
    343
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I'd break it down even further and focus on the 3rd year. The reason behind this is that the 4th year, for the majority of schools, are for electives and away rotations. So, keep an eye on your location for 4th year - if your home institution has a good base hospital to do electives, or if the surrounding areas have lots of hospitals to do rotations at. This will minimize the amount of moving and traveling you do in the 4th year for audition rotations.

    Now, for 3rd year. This year is usually set for you in terms of core rotations - IM, FP, Surg, Psych, etc. This year is the critical year for people to gain knowledge, impress people and get those LORs for residency apps. People apply for residency in the beginning of their 4th year, so the grades and LORs you gain during 3rd year are the ones most residencies will see.

    So, my recommendation is find out if the school you're interested has its own hospital. Most great schools have their own hospital that their students rotate through. The importance of this is understated. Some schools have no 'base' hospital, but have great hospitals in the surrounding areas. That's nice and all, and would certainly help if the alternative is a 'base' hospital that's deficient or weak in many departments.

    However, moving from hospital to hospital during your third year incurs a heavy toll in driving around, sometimes relocating during the year. Learning where everything is - parking, cafe, the various departments, every time you rotate to a new place, can become a chore. Building relationships with physicians and staff are done better over a period of a year than four to six weeks.

    Having to learn a new hospital's record-keeping system, how to access labs online - how each hospital *works*, every month, can make you look like an inept monkey, and detracts from your learning *medicine*. Doing all of your rotations during third year at one hospital allows you to learn all this stuff in your first rotation, and you can move on to more important things from then on.

    So, bottom line, look for a school that has its own teaching hospital for your 3rd year rotations. Then make sure that their base hospital is awesome in terms of teaching.
     
  7. bnoosha

    bnoosha Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    THanks for the GREAT INFO

    I see you go to western...can you tell me what you think abotu their rotations for 3rd year? Is this why you chose to go there?

    Thanks so much :)


     
  8. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I absolutely agree. After going on six interviews, I had come to the conclusion that while most of the schools had all the amendities required to do well for the first two years, it was the 3rd and 4th year experience that (DO) schools differed in quality.

    I did some serious digging and came upon a post where a couple of DO students mentioned that the only part they were disappointed in, and that no one told them about, was how their DO school sometimes shortchange their students in this regard as compared to MD schools who typically have their own teaching hospitals. They were shuttled to various parts of the country with little structure or feedback from their schools. One student mentioned that he only took two exams during this entire 3rd year, and that was the extent of his school's participation in his last two years. Other than that, he had to find his own rotations, and get as much information from the clinical rotations as possible with little guidance. Furthermore, the places he rotated were not structured and were hit or miss. He felt (and I agree) that he was paying a lot of money to basically teach himself with little help from the school that he was doling out 30k to.

    I did not want that to happen to me. That's why I decided to do some digging. I realized I did not want to travel around for rotations, and found schools that allowed me to stay in one place for clinical rotations. I also realized it was important to have access to teaching hospitals, and to have a lot of options around the area, as well as structure that I can use (or not use) in my last two years of school.

    That's one of the reasons I was attracted to CCOM. The school is pretty good, but the first two years seemed to be pretty blech (meaning it didn't stand out among other schools), but the last two years I liked for its structure that was provided. This was the link to their clinical rotations education and what is expected:

    http://mwunet.midwestern.edu/academic/ccomclined/index.htm

    All third years have to do their rotations in the Chicago area, and they have to do a certain number of them at their home base hospital. Furthermore, all third years have to come back every week during rotations to attend classes (offered by the school) for half a day. And of course the school administers exams at the end the core rotations. This is on top of any lectures offered at the various hospitals. Also, the school have their own teaching hospitals, and many afflliate teaching hospitals in the area. I was told the 'home base' teaching hospital was not very good (too many students and not enough volume), which is a drawback, but I'm willing to overlook that since they have so many other good sites to pick from in the area and there are other teaching hospitals the schools send their students to. I started threads in two different forums asking about the clinical rotations for CCOM if anyone is interested:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=242293

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=242417

    Anyway, that has been my experience. Thus far, my research has found CCOM satisfactory in terms of academics and rotations offered compared to the other schools I've investigated so I'm pretty set on going there.
     
  9. MikeyLu2010

    MikeyLu2010 UT Longhorns Alumni
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    i agree with the op...but if you end up with a poor basic science knowledge it wont take long for your professors to know the basic science education was poor...wats the use of going to a school with excellent clinical affiliations if your just gonna look like a ******..because im a pre-med take my opinion to heart...in my opinion..their needs to be a balance...schools that offer a solid education + excellent clinical affiliation should be the main criteria in choosing schools...however for me..location was also a big factor..the reason? my own happiness, i was born and raised in a big city.and i dont want to attend school in the middle of nowhere. My philosophy is that unhappy in med students are extremely disadvantaged (harder to study and focus on the goal)

    granted, most schools that have very strong clinical education are located in big cities im just listing a hypothetical situation...

    all in all i agree with the OP..but for me location matters more than you think
     
  10. Jinyaoysiu

    Jinyaoysiu Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes clinical rotations is one of Western's strongest assets. You're required to do your core rotations in your 3rd year in S.Cal mostly at our base hospitals in Arrowhead Regional, Riverside Regional, and Downey Regional, plus in good teaching hosptials that are abundant in the region such as City of Hope Cancer Center, Kaiser, Children's Hospital OC...etc.

    Arrowhead is one of the nicest county hospitals in the nation and Western runs the show there from teaching to residencies to directors. http://www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/armc/default.asp

    In addition, the school is expecting some powerful additions within the next 18months, which will be timely available to students that enroll in the 2010 class.

    Besdies Western, I've heard that NYCOM, CCOM, PCOM. NJCOM also have great clinicals. What I've heard more about a lack of structure/big affiliations are AZCOM, DMU, TUCOM. I may be wrong of course since I don't go to their schools. My advice would be to find a 3/4yr student at those schools and ask them. Some might tell you that they like the freedom if they are in a program that is not as structured, but the program directors at residency programs might not agree with that.
     
  11. bnoosha

    bnoosha Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Wow!
    Thanks for that information...It will be very helpful for me when making my decision....and something i know I will continue to research.

    Is Pacific hospital in long beach one of the sites to do core rotations (I ask this b/c currently i shadow a surgeon at Pacific)?
    Thanks AGAIN :)

     
  12. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
    Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,919
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    my aunt's a rad tech in la and says arrowhead is awesome. comp seems to have great rotations in california, but the nw track ones aren't so good, which is one reason why i'm not going. they still have the organization and didactics, but the hospitals are small and not in the major cities. too bad uw and ohsu have to block comp from the good spots in portland and seattle because it would be awesome if comp students could rotate there. :(
     
  13. USArmyDoc

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I like the way DMU-COM is set up. The third year is pretty structured. I like the fourth year even better because it allows you to go wherever you want. Yet, the school seems to be with you every step of the way. I loved the school and unless some school can give a showing that beat its I am going there (if accepted:( ). I interviewed there on Friday and it went awesome.
     
  14. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    7,611
    Likes Received:
    343
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Our rotations list is pretty impressive, but there's a caveat that accompanies every one of them - mostly that with a class size exceeding 200 that there is no way that every student can rotate at the better locations. There are people who will, by sheer bad luck get stuck with an out-of-the-way location, or a less-than-quality rotation site.

    That's just the way it is, and I believe that a lot of schools have similar problems. But be prepared to face this, and ask HARD questions about what the school is doing to ensure quality rotations that don't require massive drive times or relocation.

    City of Hope is a great cancer hospital, but as a surgical rotation you observe a very narrow subsection of surgeries - all oncological. If you're interested in that, cool. But you will miss out on the bread and butter lap-choles, appy's, etc., you would see in a more traditional gen surgery rotation. And unless you keep up with the readings, this will directly impact your ability to do well on the shelf exams, and also any other surgical subspecialty you rotate through, such as OB/GYN.

    CHOC is pretty a pretty well-known peds hospital. In order to rotate there, you must score above 500 on the COMLEX, which I believe is in the 80th %.

    Arrowhead is a very good hospital - I've done my peds rotation there, and will be returning there for one of internal medicine months and can't wait. But there are students from other schools who rotate there, while COMP students who desire to rotate there at times cannot be accomodated. To me, this means that Arrowhead isn't truly a COMP 'base' hospital. What base hospital turns away their own in order to let outside students rotate there?

    Keep, keep, keep at them for this bit of info. More and better rotations have a direct impact on the quality of your education.

    Overall, I'm satisfied so far with the rotations I've had. Still, as I've mentioned before, life would be a lot easier if I had only one or two main hospitals to drive back and forth from, instead of five.
     
  15. lsudoc82

    lsudoc82 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    does anyone know about NSU's rotations? Are the majority of the sites good? And does anyone know about PCSOM's sites, specifically in Biloxi, MS and Foley, AL? Thanks.
     
  16. FutureDocDO

    FutureDocDO 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,420
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Thanks for the info as I have to make a decision between WVSOM and LECOM! In your opinion, how structured is 3rd/4th rotations at these two schools? Thanks.
     
  17. Senor Fish

    Senor Fish Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Thanks for the info in this thread, it has really given me some things to think about.

    Any know anything about rotations at Tucom in central California?
     
  18. moinmoin

    moinmoin Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I have to second this motion. This is the best thread I've read on the DO forum. The info about Western was especially helpful for me. Thanks for the input!
     
  19. 1viking

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    MIkey,

    once you get to med school you will realize that you will forget 90% of the detail that you learned and the other 10% is the really important stuff in medicine.

    Don't forget KCOM. Everything is set up for you. Could you imagine having to find a doc to shadow every single month! The rotation sites are also linked up with excellent residency programs.
     
  20. medhacker

    medhacker We can end world poverty!
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,516
    Likes Received:
    4
    For anyone who knows

    How does PCOM fare in this area?

    Thanks
     
  21. TSisk23

    TSisk23 ....
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyone know about KCUMB's....theirs sounds pretty organized.
     
  22. SigPi

    SigPi Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    1

    very few (dual DO/MBA and some other exceptions) stay in KC. Others are farmed out to a core site or another region AT LEAST 100's of miles away. They may be STRUCTURED to an extent, but the amount of connection you actually have to KCUMB will be limited. At least this is my understanding
     
  23. GregsAnatomy

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Here is a list of NSU's rotation sites....
    http://medicine.nova.edu/academics/clinical/core_rotation_sites.html

    The upside is *most* of the sites are large county hospitals with 700+ beds, lots of didactics, residencies, and at some you will even be rotating with MD students. There are some smaller community hospitals with more one-on-one teaching which some students prefer. The downside is there is no guarantee you will get the site you want since it is all on a lottery system.

    Hopefully I will be rotating at Broward General or Mount Sinai next year.... ::fingers crossed::
     
  24. rahulazcom

    rahulazcom Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes, it's true that AZCOM's clinical education setup had a lot to be desired. But the school it'self acknowledges this weakness and has done a lot to overcome this. AZCOM's clinical education structure will be fixed by the time many of you start clinicals. Last year was a breakthru year because the state of Arizona sided with AZCOM and sort of forced the hand of these hospitals to accept our graduates into these 3rd year spots. This was the first year that AZCOM 3rd year students could do rotations at Maricopa hospital and Phoenix Childrens hospital as an example. The issue was that our students couldn't rotate locally during their 3rd year because the University of Arizona School of Medicine banned the local hospitals from accepting our students for these spots. So many AZCOM students had to go out of state if they wanted to do hospital based rotations during their 3rd year. Most students prefer to do certain residencies in a traditional hospital/ward based system due to education afforded to them and the chance to be more competitive when applying for residency. However, AZCOM students could still stay locally if they chose to do a preceptor based rotation.

    However, it hasn't been completely fixed so I don't want to suggest that. This is a slow process and hospitals are slowing opening more spots for third year AZCOM students. But the pace at which this is occurring is faster than expected. By the time many of you pass second year and start clinicals during your third year, there will be many spots open. So you will not be denied opportunities that former AZCOM graduates experienced. Also, I think many students are aware of this because last years' class was the most competitive we have ever had in regards to entrance statistics so more competitive applicants are applying to AZCOM. I think our average MCAT score rose by 2-3 points; yes it was pretty dramatic. The demand for our school has risen since it's strengths have always been it's campus, didactics and residency placement.

    Back to the original puprose of this thread, I wouldn't completely discount location when choosing a medical school. I was working in Phoenix for years prior to starting medical school so I knew I wanted to settle down here when I graduated. I know the local residency programs show a strong trend of accepting AZCOM graduates. And that's true of any medical school. If you want to match in a particular city, your best bet is to attend a school in that city. To further strengthen my point, I had several friends from the midwest interview at programs in Phoenix. None of them matched here although it was their first choice. These students were U.S. allopathic graduates as well. When I spoke to them, all of them said that our programs showed a strong preference for Arizona residents and local graduates. I know that California is very much the same way. If you want to do your residency in California, I would probably attend one of the schools in California and then neighboring states like Arizona first.
     
  25. ambernikel

    ambernikel ambernikel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been putting a lot of thought into the 3rd and 4th years for KCUMB. My decision is between KCOm and KCUMB. Up until now I've put KCUMB as top choice because of location, the systems based learning and because of their affiliation with the hospital in my home town which is a smaller hospital with two residencies (ER and ENT) only interested in ENT. Now I'm starting to question my decision because it seems like KCOM students are getting better residencies and perhaps because of a better clinical education. Any advice on picking between these two in the next few weeks!! The KCOM location will be a real sacrifice because of my husband. He's thinking of staying here, which isn't too far from KC but is very far from KCOM.
     
  26. Jinyaoysiu

    Jinyaoysiu Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think your husband is also a very important factor. When I mentioned clinical rotations as an important factor it was because it's a fact that most applicants seem to miss. Now, family is also very very important. Every school still turns out great physcians despite their differences and I'm not sure if sacrificing the time you spend with a loved one is worth the possible differences. Again, we're talking about possible differences of your personal achievements here, not definite differences. Such possibilty might be worth it for someone to pursue who has not many other better factors to think about besides the campus or the library of a school, and that's my orginal intention of posting this thread, but it might not be worth pursuing for someone like you who has many other important factors to think about.
     
  27. ambernikel

    ambernikel ambernikel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice. I have been going over this in my head for the past few days. I think part of it is just the jitters before putting down the large amount of money and letting KCOM know I won't be coming. I just wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. Even if the clinicals are a little more structured I know that KC has a lot of good clinicals because I know a lot of good doctors that have come from there. The more I thought about it the more I realized that any differences between the two weren't worth the huge sacrifice my husband would have to make for me to go to KCOM. He's so supportive though he'd probably do it if I asked! But I can't ask that of him. KCUMB 2010... that'll be me!
     
  28. Jinyaoysiu

    Jinyaoysiu Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    1
    Congrats! I'm happy for you and your husband on your decision :) :) :)
     
  29. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    8,458
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It sounded like OUCOM has good 3rd/4th year rotations at whatever tpye of clinical setting you prefer. For me, their options are great since I'll be able to spend my 3rd/4th years with my spouse. The docs I've talked to have been very pleased with OUCOM students as well.
     

Share This Page