What I learned visiting ATSU-KCOM

Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine is a nice school. It is not as nice in terms of how fancy things are around the school, but in the way the school is run. KCOM has been around a long time, and they seem to have it running like clockwork. This is not to say that they are just a machine; I felt like they cared about the individual I found the efficiency of the school to be very attractive.

They seemed to have a lot of things planned ahead. When I went out to Kirksville to interview ATSU volunteered to have a student house me for a night. This gave me the opportunity to talk with other students before I even set foot on campus. I was able to spend the night with a student with a family, which was very nice because I also have a family.

KCOM is a very family friendly school. I was impressed with the support groups and activities that were provided for spouses and children. Most med students don’t have families, but those who do should seriously consider applying to KCOM.
ATSU-KCOM recently added a large addition to there school. Inside the addition they put a large new OMM lab. It was definitely the largest manuel medicine lab that I have visited. It was very nice with table that are able to move up and down and large projector screens so the students can see what is being taught. In the building there was also a new simulator lab. These labs seem to be turning into a standard feature in osteopathic medical schools. The new addition also houses the school’s library.
KCOM has a fairly large anatomy lab. It wasn’t too bad; however, it does have the classic anatomy lab stench. Two of the schools I visited had pristine smelling labs and two did not, unfortunately  this was one that did not.
Another thing to note is that KCOM is basically attached to a hospital. The hospital used to owned by the school, but has since been sold. One stipulation in the contract for the hospital was that KCOM students can stop in at any time and shadow and work with physicians. Also, many of the DOs that teach at KCOM currently practice medicine at the hospital. I found it comforting to know that the teachers are actively practicing while they teach.
A.T. Still University is also concerned about student health. Just off of the main campus they have a building for student activities. They have groups for all kinds of sports including racquetball and fencing.
One last thing to note about KCOM is the 3rd and 4th year. Most DO schools place you for your 3rd year and then give you more freedom (and more responsibility) for setting up your 4th year clinical rotations. KCOM has many states that provide clinical rotations, and when you receive your assignment you know that you will be there for 2 years. For some people this is nice and provides security, stability, and simplifies the stresses that come along with medical school.

Before I Visited ATSU-KCOM

atsu-kcomMy final interview was at A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. I was excited to visit the school because I knew a fair amount before my visit. KCOM has been around for well over 100 years. They have a reputation for producing skilled physicians.

 Before I applied to KCOM I had the opportunity to meet many of their 3rd and 4th students. I have worked at Central Utah Clinic for the past 2 years, and when I started at the clinic KCOM had students holding biweekly meetings in our department’s break room. I found their meetings very interesting and found the students to be very knowledgeable.

Years ago, when I was first researching about medical schools, I found Kirksville’s site. Their site was one of the sources that helped me get excited about the opportunity of becoming an osteopathic physician.

Where I am in the Process

The process of applying to medical school can be very long and trying. I am glad to be where I am right now. I know I will start medical school in July/August of 2009; I just need to decide which school to attend.

I interviewed with LECOM, WVSOM, LMU-DCOM, and ATSU-KCOM. I was honestly just hoping that someone would accept me for school this year. I feel very blessed that all four schools have offered me a spot in next year’s class. This is a tough decision because each school had something that set them apart from all the other schools. 
Over the next while I will be leaving posts about what each of my interviews were like, what I thought of the campuses, and more information about my application process.