Sunday, April 15, 2012

Semester Ends, Planning for New Year Begins

First of all everyone, I'd like to announce that we have a new Presidency for next year. Thanks to all those who helped us get the club going in January, and a special thanks to the former presidency: Austin Bolton, Landon Deru, Sterling Haws, Jake Walden, Jon Dahl, and Dave McAdams. We are very excited about this new presidency and about this upcoming year.

President - Austin Bolton
Vice Pres - Matt McKee
Secretary - JD Marett
NLO - Cory Albrechtsen
Preceptor Coordinator - Nate Russell

We intend to work this summer to get some great service opportunities lined up for those who need something consistent. We already have a few connections among the presidency and intend to use them. We will also have our Preceptor Program ready in which we will be able to set students up with DO's in the area of different specialties.

ALSO, May 18-19 there is an awesome premed conference at UVU. I went to this last year and it was really great. You'll have the opportunity to mingle with med schools (DO and MD), med students, and physicians. There are presentations from physicians of all different specialties in which you can learn from them first hand about their experiences along with the pros and cons of their specialties. It costs $35 and is worth every penny (includes food and some SWAG)! I will be attending the conference Saturday (I can't make it Friday) and I'd be happy to carpool with anyone interested in attending. You'll want to register before April 20th for the early registration cost. Also I know that most of the AMSA presidency is attending and will therefore be another means of carpool if you wish. Please contact me if you have any issues, questions, or desires. This is a picture from last year's conference.
The link below will take you to their website. I hope to see many of you there.

We will be planning a meeting for "Relay for Life" in the next week and a half in which we'll plan and coordinate for a fund raiser and for the Relay for Life event! If you're not already on the team and you're interested, let me know and I'll help you get signed up for the team.

Last announcement. Next Saturday, the 21st of April AMSA is doing their bi-annual Highway Pickup. This is a fun service opportunity. I went last time and I'll be there the 21st. We're meeting at 8:30 am at the Park'n' Ride on Highway 89 by Weber Canyon. I'll see you there!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

So over a week ago we were privileged to host a representative from AT Still's School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA). This meeting was very informative, and focused on both ATSU SOMA, and the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) located in Missouri. She started by giving some information about KCOM, and finished up by describing the newer school in AZ. I will do my best to relay the same information in this post.

KCOM of Missouri is the founding school of Osteopathic Medicine founded by Dr Andrew Taylor Still MD, DO. As such this school has a long, well established history of graduating Osteopathic physicians that are true to the central values of Osteopathy.

KCOM admits a class of roughly 175 students each year and maintains a 6:1 student faculty ratio. KCOM has a didactic system of teaching for the first two years of education, with the third and fourth years following traditional internships, and rotations. They do have 3 locations in Utah where you could do your 3rd and 4th year rotations, and those are in Logan, SLC, and Provo. KCOM does offer a dual degree program that offers DO/MS degrees. They have three human patient simulators, and a special class that is required each year of your education called Complete Doctor which incorporates education on the day-to-day tasks of being a doctor to help future DOs become the most competent physicians possible.
KCOM's admission averages are as follows: Cum GPA 3.48 MCAT 28

ATSU SOMA is an extension campus of KCOM. Therefore, when you apply to either school you will be applying to ATSU and designating the school(s) which you are applying. The School missions are very similar, with a focus on graduating primary care physicians who practice in undeserved areas/populations. SOMA has an 8:1 student faculty ratio, and accept around 107 students each year. SOMA only keeps their doctors on campus for the first year of education. After that year you are sent to learn in rural Community Health Center (CHC) under the direction of ATSU certified physicians. This unique program is built around the philosophy that clinical exposure is the most beneficial to becoming an outstanding physician. SOMA does teach a systems based curriculum and does offer some dual degree options.

Both KCOM and SOMA enroll on a rolling admissions time table, so the earlier you apply the sooner you will get a response, and the sooner you will be accpeted. The most interesting point of the night was learning about the Still Scholars program. For those Premeds who are in your sophomore year LISTEN UP. KCOM offers a Still Scholars program which is an agreement between the student and the University where you can earn a garunteed acceptance into KCOM if you apply between your sophmore and junior year having maintained a 3.4 cum and sci GPA. You also have to have 75% of your prerequisites finished. You committ to going to KCOM and applying nowhere else, but you dont have to take the MCAT! Pretty crazy huh? So if you are a Sophomore, know you want to go to a DO school, and would like to attend medical school in Missouri this could be your lucky chance. For more information about the Still Scholar program, follow THIS LINK!

Well that about does it. Hope that you all are doing well, and are set to finish strong on this semester! Until next time keep a song in your heart!

For specific questions, feel free to contact the admissions offices of either school. Courtney (at SOMA) and Andrea (at KCOM) are two extremely kind and helpful individuals!
Andrea O'Brian's is
Courtney McCormack's is

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dr Taylor, hero, mentor, father, husband and... wait for it... Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
If you missed this last meeting I feel a little bad for you, because it was probably my favorite meeting so far. We had Dr Taylor DO as a guest speaker come talk to us about life as a graduate of medical school, recipient of the military HPSP scholarship, and military flight surgeon.
As the meeting started out Dr Taylor talked a lot about the HPSP scholarship. What it was like, the pros and cons, and what his experience was with it. I felt that his explanation was very clear and concise, without any blatant bias. While I wont go over everything he said (unfortunately I am not an expert on the HPSP, and as such know very little about it) I will give you a few good points I felt he made concerning it.

Obviously full tuition coverage is pretty amazing. Dr Taylor said that medical school would have been a lot harder had he been bogged down with the financial worries of paying for school. Contrary to my previously held belief he said only about 40% of the graduating USAF HPSP recipients go into military residencies, the rest will match into civilian residencies. He also noted that the larger the branch of military you go into, the more slots that branch will have for certain specialties (ex Army, the largest division of the military, will have the most slots for specialties, the AF will have less.)

Deployment: While it wont happen while you are in med school you will most likely be deployed at some time. What branch of the military you go into will determine how long the deployment will be (ex Army is 10-15 months, AF is normally 6 months)
Navy Internships: The Navy will require you to take a year off your medical internship to serve as a GMO on a Navy ship (according to his knowledge).
As we all suspect, he said the hardest thing would be that you have to spend time away from your family.

Now Dr Taylor did spend sometime talking about his experiences as a flight surgeon. Unfortunately I don't think I could do it justice to try and give you the same experience that he gave us that night talking about it. Mostly he said he loved what he did, the men he has helped, and the time he served are not regretted. He showed some pretty knarley pictures of the surgeries he has performed, if you are interested I encourage you to contact him. He gave us his personal email and was very open to being contacted for letters of recommendation, and answering questions about his life and career. Contact a member of the presidency if you'd like his email address. He is a great man, and you'd be lucky to learn from him.

Well that was about it for the meeting. Dont forget that next Wednesday night AT Still Arizona is coming to present in our meeting about their medical school. Dont miss out on this great opportunity to talk with a representative from an actual medical school! It'll be same time same place. 5:30pm Wednesday night the 28th in LL 130. Make sure and tell your premed friends about it! Till then, keep dominating those classes of yours!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello again!

So WSU Pre-SOMA held our second official club meeting this last Wednesday Feb 22nd. If you were not able to attend, dont sweat it. Every premed comes to understand the large demands on time and personal effort it takes to be competitive for medical school. Even if you were unable to make it this time we will be holding more meetings in the future so don't despair. Just to keep you up to speed here is the low-down on whats happening:

Pre-SOMA is involved in the West Weber County Relay for Life! Our team name is Future DOctors. If you are able to participate please sign up, we will be holding meetings and contacting you to keep you up to date on our fundraising efforts. The Relay will be held on June 15th this summer. You can go to the following site to sign up: Click Here.

Pre-SOMA's preceptor program is in the works. We are currently contacting DOs in our area for opportunities to get you out there among the physicians, and hopefully hook you up with contacts that you can receive letters of recommendation from. Please let us know if you are interested in this program, juniors and seniors, as well as those who show up for the meetings most often will be given priority over others.

Our main presentation last week was on each of the nation's current Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. This information can be very useful if you are getting ready to apply this spring, but also for anyone wanting a lookout into the various schools of Osteopathic medicine that are out there. We have created a Google Doc that contains that information, and have made it available for you to view at anytime. We will be editing it with updated information periodically to keep you informed. You can view it by clicking here
Please take advantage of our research in this area, and if you have any questions please let us know, many of us have personally contacted representatives from these schools and would love to share what we found with you.

Finally, here are a few things to look forward to for our next upcoming meetings. On Wednesday March 21st we will be having a special speaker Dr Jason Taylor DO, Major, USAF, who is specialized in Emergency Medicine and is currently serving as a Flight Surgeon in the United States Air Force. Then Wednesday March 28th we will be hosting a representative from AT Still Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. This is a great opportunity to get some firsthand information about their medical school.

                                                              AT Still University Arizona

Well, that about covers everything! Hope that all is well, and that we see you on March 21st. Until then, keep on keepin' on!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Welcome WSU Pre-SOMA! We are so excited for this first-time opportunity to share with WSU a DO centered Pre med club!

In evaluating the pre med programs at WSU Austin Bolton, and Landon Deru (Pres. and Vice Pres. of Pre-SOMA) decided that there was something lacking in the current organization of the pre med emphasis, and that was the perspective of the DO difference.

While many pre med clubs, including AMSA, are an invaluable asset to the preparation process of med school, Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine are notorious for their selective nature in accepting non traditional students. With this in mind it is only natural to have a complimentary but separate club focused on the unique criteria needed to be a competitive applicant to DO granting programs.

Osteopathic medicine has a proud history dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Dr AT Still MD DO, the father of Osteopathy was frustrated with the current practices of medicine in his day, and proposed the first discipline of medicine focused on preventative medicine. His legacy was built on the notion that the human body has the innate ability to heal itself, and as physicians our primary focus should be maintaining that ability. He is quoted as saying:

"My work for over 30 years has been confined to the study of man as a machine designed and produced by the mind of the Architect of the Universe. I hope I have by my study discovered and been able to give to the world some of the Truths of Life and the laws that operate to keep the body in healthy condition."

And so his legacy continues. DOs today are on the forefront of American exceptionalism in the feilds of primary care medicine. Our hope is that Pre-SOMA WSU can help continue the proud tradition, and prepare you as a future physician of osteopathic medicine.