GBCrzzyy

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I've applied to 26 DO schools but I'm having trouble trying to differentiate them and figure out which ones I like best so I thought I would ask about the schools that other people are attending. I'd like to know why you chose the school and your favorite and least favorite parts about your school. At this point, I have an interest in primary care but I'm also very interested in surgery/surgical specialties so I really want to make sure the school I choose has a good match list and research opportunities but I'm not sure what other factors I should be looking at to decide which schools would be the best for me. Thanks :)
 
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abolt18

I regret nothing. The end.
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Go where you'll save the most money. Lowest cost of attendance! Same education, same degree, at a fraction of the cost!
 
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I chose my school based on location. I interviewed at 3, got accepted at all 3. I felt like Campbell was my favorite of all the places I interviewed at/applied to, but I decided to choose a school closer to family.

When you interview, you will get a feeling for the faculty, the students, etc. go where the students that you meet aren't miserable, where they have good things to say about the school, and where they feel like they have some sort of voice in the school.
 

Dr. Death

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My priorities when deciding on a school

Which school isn't going to make me move after 2nd and 3rd years?
Which school has the lower tuition?
Which school has in house residency programs that fit my interests?
Which school has abundant research opportunities?
Which school is not in the middle of nowhere?
 

Ho0v-man

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Which school has a good reputation on SDN? There's problems with every school, of course. But certain schools have complaints from students every month on this site and some only occasionally if ever. I'm not writing a six figure tuition check to a place that seems to go out of its way to make me miserable.

Which school has a good rep outside of SDN. All the DOs I know told me to go where I'm going.

Which school has the best organized 3rd year? I'm cool with moving between 2nd and 3rd year, but not every month. Also check for affiliated residencies.

Were the students happy during interview day? One of the schools I interviewed at had the class president show us around the school. He was literally so stressed out that he was just rambling to himself and cursing randomly. Kind of a huge red flag.

I'm really worried about tuition, but it doesn't make any financial sense for me to be a doctor anyway so I figure I might as well go where I want to go and say **** it. I'll probably be singing a different tune in a few years though...


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

ortnakas

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:beat:
Because it's been a few days since the last "best DO school" thread I suppose...

Things that were important to me, not in any particular order: tuition, type of pre-clinical curriculum location in major city/close to an airport, established clinical curriculum, faculty that like to teach.

What I think most people's main factors should be (quoting myself from previous threads):
1) your state school, if you live in a state that has one
2) the school that accepts you and fits what you're looking for curriculum-wise, geographically and financially
3) the school that accepts you and will work with what you're looking for curriculum-wise and/or geographically and/or financially
4) everyone else but LUCOM
5) LUCOM
 

summergirl

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This is my list

1) I prefer MD over DO
2) location
3) tuition, general reputation on sdn and in real life.
4) a curriculum that gives me plenty of time to study for all the standardized tests I will be taking as a DO
5) P/F
6) recorded lectures
7) class size
8) how I feel about the school on interview day
 

st2205

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I interviewed at LECOM-E, LECOM-B, Touro NV, KCUMB, KCOM and DMU. Got into all except wait listed at DMU. Ended up at KCOM.

I really liked the whole idea of the cost of LECOM (still do) and actually kind of liked Erie. I really liked the idea of KCUMB as it was really close to the city. Ultimately, the biggest deciding factor was probably the influence of my wife. I interviewed at KCOM followed by KCUMB the next day. Our oldest was maybe a month or two at the time. My wife had always told me she liked rural but I had always told her she hadn't really seen rural. As we were driving to Kirksville, she remarked (jokingly) that she hoped I wouldn't get in there. During the interview day, they had spouses of students have a day set up for any family attending interviews. When I got done, she stated that she hoped we'd get in there. It was great for that time in our life. Very cheap cost of living (albeit tuition probably 15k more than LECOM at the time). Lived 5 minutes from school. No required attendance. Spent a lot of time at home and lived a simple life. Had our second kid there. Had good friends and my wife had good support being so close to all the other student families. We ended up being able to return to very close to where I'm from for rotations which were quite benign and enjoyable. Got to be around my grandmother for the last year and a half of her life, as well as discover that she had placed a child for adoption 64 years previously that she had never told anyone about and I was able to track that person down and reunite them before she passed away.

Overall, it couldn't have worked out better and I'm glad my wife went with me on the trip as it's possible we could have had a different outcome. Most places you go you should do fine. Don't go some place that really sucks. Overall, choose to live a little and don't buy into the bull**** that just because something is made harder than it could/should be that it somehow means you're learning more. There's a lot of life to be lived outside of medicine and I always enocurage people to better find that balance and and weigh those priorities much higher than the minutia that most use to dictate the pathway of their lives and career.
 

Goro

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Strongly suggest that you go through the school specific thread and see what the current students are saying about their school. I've noticed that in a good number of threads someone will post a negative, which then gets refuted in detail by current or former students. Some students are also very honest about the plusses and minuses of their schools.

Keep in mind that match lists are like reading tea leaves.

Some of the below I've already mentioned in my post on "guide to your interview questions". I'll have to update it now.

You should also consider:

Location (urban or rural, especially. This is particularly an issue if you're a member of a minority group or GLBT. The school itself might be welcoming, but the locality might not).
Proximity to family/friends/support groups
Cost of living
Type of curriculum: PBL? classic Flexner? systems based
Attendance? Required? (I would shy away from schools like these. Adult learners can figure out their best learning style)
Dress code? Again, you're adults...you don't need prompting for playing the part.
Tuition. There's a reason why people put up with the dress code at LECOM.
Lectures taped?
Grading: P/F? ABCDF? 1/2/3/4.0?
Class size?
Research opportunities? Some schools are definitely better at this than others.
Exam scheduling? Every week? Every other week? Blocks? Midterm + final only?
New school? Students tend to have a harder time on rotations because the Clinical Education people are new at this. Sometimes rotations get lost and students are left holding the bag for rent, or training, and have to scramble. This is less of a problem at established schools. Further, a graduate of a new school may be an unknown commodity to PDs. CCOM is not. However, some people like being pioneers and helping shape something from the ground up. New schools can also change bad policies faster than the older schools, which tend to have the mindset of "that's how we've always done it"!


Where do their graduates go? For example, How many PCOM grads do residencies in MA???


Step I scores and pass rates? Are they posted anywhere? The DO schools are now mandated to post their 1st time pass rates for COMLEX, FYI.


Board prep time? If you can dig up the school's academic calendar, you can figure out the time for Board prep by looking at when their MS2 class schedule ends. My own students get about 4-6 weeks, depending upon when they schedule their exams. Weaker students take longer.


Here's the most important thing to consider: Rotations. Preceptor or ward based? The former damage the profession because students need to learn how to DO things, not merely sit at the feet of the master and hear how to do things. This poorer training reinforces the poor perception of DO graduates that some PDs have. it's not the "cult of Still" mindset anymore...it's about how ready you are for residency.



I've applied to 26 DO schools but I'm having trouble trying to differentiate them and figure out which ones I like best so I thought I would ask about the schools that other people are attending. I'd like to know why you chose the school and your favorite and least favorite parts about your school. At this point, I have an interest in primary care but I'm also very interested in surgery/surgical specialties so I really want to make sure the school I choose has a good match list and research opportunities but I'm not sure what other factors I should be looking at to decide which schools would be the best for me. Thanks :)
 

Goro

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Goro

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Mine does!

Which DO schools offer ward based rotations? I'm assuming the list includes: MSUCOM, OSUCOM, TCOM. Is this correct? Are there any others?
 
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GBCrzzyy

GBCrzzyy

The moon is just the back of the sun.
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Thanks @Goro for all of your insight! I would also like to know which schools have ward based rotations. I did not apply to OSU, MSU, or TCOM due to their IS/region bias since I am an MA resident. My top choices right now are KCUMB, RVU-CO (I have ties to CO), UNECOM, Nova, DMU, and PCOM. I applied to many more but I'm not sure where to find that information about each school I applied to.
 

Goro

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Best to inquire in the school-age specific threads.

Thanks @Goro for all of your insight! I would also like to know which schools have ward based rotations. I did not apply to OSU, MSU, or TCOM due to their IS/region bias since I am an MA resident. My top choices right now are KCUMB, RVU-CO (I have ties to CO), UNECOM, Nova, DMU, and PCOM. I applied to many more but I'm not sure where to find that information about each school I applied to.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Do you mind explaining why match lists are like reading tea leaves?
Because the number of specialties and locations of programs are largely just a reflection of the desires of the class. How do you know that the FM match to Farm town, North Dakota wasn't the top student in the class with a killer board score but he has always wanted to be a rural doc? The number of specialties represented is totally subjective to what that class wanted. These are things you can't get from a match list. LMU had someone match MD ortho this year but should people start flocking to LMU if they want to gun for MD ortho? No.

Without knowing the desires of the class then what and where they match is pointless to decipher.
 
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not one of the diploma mill schools with 16 branch campuses rather than investing in what they have already
 
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Because the number of specialties and locations of programs are largely just a reflection of the desires of the class. How do you know that the FM match to Farm town, North Dakota wasn't the top student in the class with a killer board score but he has always wanted to be a rural doc? The number of specialties represented is totally subjective to what that class wanted. These are things you can't get from a match list. LMU had someone match MD ortho this year but should people start flocking to LMU if they want to gun for MD ortho? No.

Without knowing the desires of the class then what and where they match is pointless to decipher.
I see. But if a school is able to produce students who consistently match into competitive programs, wouldn't that be a reflection on the school?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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I see. But if a school is able to produce students who consistently match into competitive programs, wouldn't that be a reflection on the school?
That's the issue, as pre-meds we have no idea what actually constitutes a competative program. What is competative to you? A competative specialty? A competative location? A big name? Only people familiar with (i.e. Member of) those fields can tell if X match at Z place is competative. Matching well is generally way more on the student than the school. Look at LECOM-B, they get ripped apart on these forums because they don't have a lot of the other resources for their students that other schools do, but they consistently have some of the "wow" matches that DO schools produce every year. It isn't the school usually that allows a student to match well.

If you have to look at a match list then I've been told to look at the IM matches, how consistently does the school place its graduates in a decent number of university level programs? IM is a field with a lot of matches at any school and so the trends are more representative.
 
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That's the issue, as pre-meds we have no idea what actually constitutes a competative program. What is competative to you? A competative specialty? A competative location? A big name? Only people familiar with (i.e. Member of) those fields can tell if X match at Z place is competative. Matching well is generally way more on the student than the school. Look at LECOM-B, they get ripped apart on these forums because they don't have a lot of the other resources for their students that other schools do, but they consistently have some of the "wow" matches that DO schools produce every year. It isn't the school usually that allows a student to match well.

If you have to look at a match list then I've been told to look at the IM matches, how consistently does the school place its graduates in a decent number of university level programs? IM is a field with a lot of matches at any school and so the trends are more representative.
Sorry, I'm still a little confused. LECOM-B gets ripped apart because they don't have a lot of resources but they have students who match well into competitive programs? They've got to be doing something correctly then, right? I googled "competitive residencies" and saw that they had pretty consistently neat matches in primary care.
 

ortnakas

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Which DO schools offer ward based rotations? I'm assuming the list includes: MSUCOM, OSUCOM, TCOM. Is this correct? Are there any others?
Important to note- a lot of schools have different rotation sites, and end up offering a mix of ward-based and preceptor-based between sites or even within the same site. It's not always as easy as saying one school has great rotations and another has crappy ones. It's more likely to have a mix.
 

lnguyen1412

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Choose the school that you are comfortable to stay for the first 2 years. Then it's your own efforts to get into residency :)
 

FutureD.O

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I can't stress how important is it to also check whether or not attendance is mandatory. I have some friends who absolutely hate attending lectures as it cuts into their actual study time. Definitely keep that in mind when choosing between schools that accept you.

..if you only get one acceptance, that's undoubtedly the best school for you!
 
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kelminak

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Mine does!
Burrel's school in Idaho (ICOM) just posted that they have a list of 350 preceptors confirmed. Does this mean that there is going to be a lot of preceptor-based rotations then? I'm obviously still going to apply as a low-GPA student for an in-state school, but I'm worried that my career opportunities might be diminished even further by going there now. :S
 

Goro

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No hospitals???? This sounds like a terrible clinical education.

Burrel's school in Idaho (ICOM) just posted that they have a list of 350 preceptors confirmed. Does this mean that there is going to be a lot of preceptor-based rotations then? I'm obviously still going to apply as a low-GPA student for an in-state school, but I'm worried that my career opportunities might be diminished even further by going there now. :S
 

kelminak

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No hospitals???? This sounds like a terrible clinical education.
I found the exact message:

"We’re very excited to announce that the proposed ICOM has secured more than 350 medical providers in the region interested in instructing the next generation of physicians. We set a personal goal to reach 300 preceptors in the 90 days following our first announced plans to locate in Idaho, and we’re proud to say we’ve exceeded that goal! We’ve had an enthusiastic response of high-quality providers and will continue to recruit more during our accreditation process."

How do I interpret that? We have a hospital down the road from them (St. Luke's) and there's a St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus in the city next-door 15-30 min away, so we *have* hospitals, but are they using them? I don't know what they mean exactly.
 

Goro

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It doesn't look good at the surface.
I found the exact message:

"We’re very excited to announce that the proposed ICOM has secured more than 350 medical providers in the region interested in instructing the next generation of physicians. We set a personal goal to reach 300 preceptors in the 90 days following our first announced plans to locate in Idaho, and we’re proud to say we’ve exceeded that goal! We’ve had an enthusiastic response of high-quality providers and will continue to recruit more during our accreditation process."

How do I interpret that? We have a hospital down the road from them (St. Luke's) and there's a St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus in the city next-door 15-30 min away, so we *have* hospitals, but are they using them? I don't know what they mean exactly.
 
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kelminak

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Brinkley

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I picked my school because of the types of rotations available. I like rural medicine and wanted to train at community hospitals instead of academic institutions because that's where I see myself practicing. Most of my school's rotations are at community hospitals. Treatment options can be limited in community hospitals, especially rural ones, so it's nice to know things like when to transfer or how to handle a problem with fewer resources. On the flip side, if you want to be a specialist or a sub-specialist or work in an urban setting, academic places might be where you want to go. Additionally, my school has a 100% match rate and a lot of people go to name brand or prestigious residency programs, which is why I picked it over a newer DO school which didn't have as impressive match lists.

tl;dr - rotations at community vs academic hospitals and match lists