Need Some Advice: VCOM

As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve applied both MD and DO, with a much stronger academic record when I returned to school for my second degree. I live in Virginia, but the only in-state schools I applied to were EVMS and VCU, the former because, as a local, I have a leg up there, and the latter because, well, at least as a VA taxpayer they can’t outright reject me without a secondary.

I rejected UVA because I don’t have the grades, VT-Carillion because I don’t have the MCATs, and VCOM because, frankly, it didn’t interest me that much.

This afternoon, I was dropping off some paperwork to the woman who runs our pre-health committee, and she–let’s say at least hinted pretty strongly, that I’d likely get in if I were to apply.

I have two primary reasons why I’m not interested in VCOM…well, actually three. Firstly, I spent a bunch of my teen years in Appalachia, and that’s not really an environment I really want to return to, even if the most I’d be seeing of it is the inside of classrooms and hospitals.

Secondly, their focus is on rural health care, and while I think that’s very important and something that is often ignored, there’s a reason most of the schools I applied to are either in or near big metropolitan areas. I’m much more interested in seeing a variety of patients in urban settings, and while some of VCOM’s affliates are urban-ish, a lot more of them aren’t.

Finally, this one’s the kicker. I’m a gay man, with a partner of nine years who, as of July of 2011, became legally my husband in six states and the District of Columbia. Like I said, I’ll be in a hospital or classroom, so it won’t make much difference to me, but it could make a world of difference to him, and that worries me.

So, I guess I’m wondering: do I go for the greater likelihood of getting the white coat and the letters after my name, even though I don’t know if I’d be getting them in an environment I’d like very much?

Any VCOM alumni or current students have any advice?

What does your husband say about the matter? Will he have enough of a support system to keep him happy/healthy in this location?

I grew up in a very rural area, but my husband has no interest AT ALL in moving to such a place for practice. He would go nuts. So, though he is willing to move cross-country (and even take a new state’s bar (law, not ethanol) exam) for me, I am still chosing locations that would not be a hardship for him or our kids.

I guess what I’m saying is that, as much as I really expect to get those letters after my name, I won’t do it at my loved ones’ expense.

He actually told me that he’d rather I go for something that I’ve worked for hard for rather than wait to apply again in the next cycle.

But I talked to my stepmom, who’s an alumna of Va Tech, and she told me she thought we’d be absolutely miserable there.

I also discovered that VCOM has a religious affiliation with Liberty University that they don’t really advertise, and while I truly don’t wish to offend anyone here, that was enough to make me run screaming in the other direction.

I don’t particularly care for the Catholic Church as an institution, but I applied to Georgetown because I’d love to get the chance to learn at Washington Hospital Center.

That probably makes me a hypocrite, and, to repeat what I said, I’m not trying to offend anyone, I just know that isn’t the right environment for me.

Knowing yourself and your own limitations is not a failing. It’s smart.

Thanks. And thank you for the advice. I’m pretty sure now I made the right call.

VCOM has some tougher pre-reqs. I had to withdraw my app cause I just can’t get them done in time living in the middle of nowhere as I do now. So, if you’ve got the pre-req’s it might be something to consider.

I spent 4 year at a seminary I didn’t fit in. It was difficult and very much so for my wide. Mind you I still had my job but every time after class I would come back not in a good mood. I went to VCOM’s Open House yesterday and a 4th year said something but with a different spin. You will get a medical education wherever you go, so at the end go where you will fit in. You are already know going in you do not like the area which you cannot fake with the stress of med school. My recommendation is not to go for the “easy” acceptance. For one you have to wonder why it would be easy… Go where you will feel comfortable and love the school. If you hate the area you will THAT student who is merely at the school for the degree. Go where you fit, get the degree, and enjoy the process as and the people as much as you can.

Believe me I was all about “it’s 4 years…suck it up…keep it moving.” Life is short and it makes no sense to just go somewhere that you dont fit in simply because it might be easy to get in. If you can get in at VCOM you can get in other places as well. My2 cents.