Disclaimer: I have no connections to the NSU Admissions Committee or admissions process. What I post here is my own opinion, based on my experiences, or is from the NSU-COM website.
What are the average stats?
51% in-state; 49% out-of-state
For the entering class of 2016:
Old MCAT average: 28 (new MCAT average: 504)
I have my interview soon at NSU-COM. Any advice on how to prepare?
The interview is usually panel with 2-3 faculty and/or physicians. Compared to other medical schools, it is relatively short lasting only 10-15 minutes. It is generally a good idea to know your own application very well, especially any weaknesses such as a low GPA or a low MCAT. Since the interview is so short, I also recommend being able to give articulate and efficient answers that aren’t filled with “fluff”.
I got accepted and have all this time to kill before I start. Should I pre-study?
1. You probably won’t remember what you studied
2. Even if you do remember what you studied, it most likely won’t even compare to the amount of material that you’ll be learning once school starts, so any studying you did would have been insignificant and a waste of time
3. You might burn out before school starts, and that will really screw you over.
So what should I do then?
I interviewed a while ago and haven’t heard anything. Is this a silent rejection?
As far as I know, NSU doesn’t do silent rejections. You’re going to hear back eventually. If you’re still waiting for a final decision, it means they’re still reviewing your file. This isn’t really a bad thing because it at least means you’re still under consideration. So just sit tight and be patient. If you really want, call the office or write a LOI to express interest.
What are some of the popular apartments that students live in close to campus?
- Rolling Hills (technically on-campus)
- Centro (formerly Sunforest)
Students can also live in the cities of Plantation, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, or even in Ft. Lauderdale near the beach.
How does the grading system work at NSU?
M1/M2 year: percentage grade; there are a couple classes that are P/F. Passing is 70%. Some classes will curve at the end of the semester, like physiology, and it helps to bump up your final percentage grade. You get your class ranking at the beginning of M2 year. Ranking is numerical (not percentile).
M3/M4 year: grades are Fail/Pass/Honors, and are based on required online modules for the rotation month, Preceptor Evaluation, and shelf exam performance.
How are the class dynamics?
Class dynamics are going to vary, but in general, I’d say that the classes get along well. There’s always drama in every class but it’s a good idea to keep yourself out of that during medical school. You don’t have time for it.
Are there a lot of gunners?
I define a gunner as someone who purposely tries to sabotage or screw up another classmate’s performance. So no, there are no gunners, at least none that I know of. There are people that try really hard and are killing themselves to get a 90% in every class, but I don’t consider that being a gunner. I just call that working very hard.
How’s the social scene there?
Pretty good. There’s a lot to do here in South Florida. You can go to Las Olas and go bar/club-hopping, you can go to a music festival, or you can go to an art gallery. If you like food like I do, there are some good restaurants around the area, especially if you go into Miami (30-45 min away). On a weekend, you can drive over to the beach and play volleyball, go surfing, or just lay in the sand and get a tan. Just don’t get distracted. Remember, you’re here to study!
What is the dress code?
On a regular class day: either scrubs or professional attire with the white coat. Most of us like to wear scrubs on a day to day basis. On Fridays, people get a little fancy and wear professional attire, but that’s pretty much up to you. I’m lazy and choose to wear scrubs every day. They’re like pajamas.
On a CSE or IGC day: you must wear professional attire with your white coat unless your attending specifically tells you it’s okay to wear scrubs.
On an exam day: you can either wear scrubs or professional attire without the white coat (something about it having too many pockets).
Labs: OPP lab has its own dress code where they force you to purchase some hideous shorts from the bookstore. For anatomy lab, you must wear scrubs and closed toed shoes.
What can you tell me about the OPP Fellowship and what can I do during my M1/M2 year to be seriously considered ?
You apply and interview for the OPP Fellowship during your M2 year. If you get it, you spend the following year (what is supposed to be your M3 year) being one of the table trainers for the M1 and M2 OPP classes, as well as work in the OPP clinic attached to the school. In exchange, you get first pick on your rotation site and your tuition for the last two years of medical school are paid for. Competitiveness varies by year. To be seriously considered, you will (obviously) need to show you’re interested in OPP. It will probably help to go to the OPP-related events and become involved with SAAO (OPP club). Getting to know the faculty is also a good idea. You must be in good academic standing to apply.
What can you tell me about the Anatomy Fellowship and what can I do during my M1 year to be seriously considered?
I believe the grade cut-off for the Anatomy Fellowship is an 85% (both lecture and lab combined). You apply and interview for it during second semester of M1 year. The Fellows get ranked based on their grade in Anatomy and only the top students will get paid. However, all Anatomy Fellows are allowed to tutor for $$$. If you want to be considered, do well in class, and get to know the anatomy faculty.
What is the pass rate at NSU for the COMLEX/USMLE Step 1?
First time pass rates- no pretest necessary for eligibility
COMLEX 1: 93%
COMLEX 2CE: 91%
COMLEX 2PE: 93%
COMLEX 3: 95%
NSU-COM is a DO school and does not specifically prep us for the USMLE. Therefore, there is no published USMLE average data.
What do you do the summer between M1 and M2?
Popular things to do:
- Go on a long vacation
- Study for boards
- Anatomy fellowship
Should I buy board review books and use them to study as I learn material in class during M1/M2?
Sure, although it’s probably more helpful during M2 year when you go into systems. First Aid, Costanzo Physiology, Pathoma, and Picmonic/Sketchy Micro were the most popular resources that we used during M2 year. Some students also used BRS. At the end of the year, a lot of upperclassmen start selling things that they don’t need/want anymore. These include board books. Sometimes the price they’re offering is cheaper than what you see on Amazon.
Don’t make the mistake of using board review books as a replacement for the course notes. The class exams will be based off of the professors notes/powerpoint slides.
Can you tell me about how rotations site placement works?
M2 Year, September – January: Hospital Information Months – Your class’s SGA will set up hospital tours for students to go on to get a feel for the different affiliated hospitals of NSU. Track Day, which takes place in the middle of January, is when speakers from different rotation sites come to NSU and give a presentation about their programs why you should rotate at their hospital. At the end of the day you’ll be able to talk to the speakers to get more information.
M2 Year, end of January – Everyone will get a Rank Order List with all the in-state rotation sites. You’ll rank your preferences and turn your list in to the Office of Clinical Education by a certain due date. Each student’s preferences are manually inputted into a computer, and it’s double checked by two SGA students. Each student will be randomly assigned a lottery number which determines the order in which student’s are assigned to rotation sites. About a week after Rank Order Lists are due, your official assignments will be distributed. Basically you’ll get a piece of paper that shows how you ranked all the sites, your random lottery number, and your assigned site. You will not know what lottery number you get ahead of time- you’ll see it only when you get your paper with your assignment.
M2 Year, beginning of February– Students who are unsatisfied with their assigned site can swap with another willing student.
M2 Year, end of February– Finalization of assignments. You can’t switch after this date.