Is LECOM a Good Medical School? | Pros and Cons of LECOM

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Choosing a medical school in the United States can be a frustrating task. There are over 170 medical schools in the United States all offering unique medical programs that are suited to equip graduates to work in the medical field. At Student Consort, we are committed to helping you make an informed decision when you are choosing a school to go to by reviewing colleges and universities in the country. In this article, we are reviewing the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) as we seek to answer the question – is LECOM a good medical school?

Is LECOM a Good Medical School

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is a private medical school that offers programs in Erie, Pennsylvania; Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Bradenton, Florida; DeFuniak Springs, Florida, and Elmira, New York. The school was founded in 1992 and conferred degrees in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy as well as master’s degrees in the health sciences. It is one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States, offering an exceptional medical curriculum. We will be taking a close look at the college and how its medical program, highlighting the positives and flaws.

Is LECOM a Good Medical School?

LECOM as a medical school is quite below in standards. The school is ranked #95-124 for best medical schools in research and #88 for best medical school in primary care. Keeping its rankings aside, LECOM has flaws that far outweigh the good it possesses. The school’s administration is poor with students having to find their way through school under unfair rules and regulations. LECOM has a dress code that many persons find uncomfortable for a 21st-century medical school. The school has a fairly affordable tuition fee but treats students poorly. 

In my years of studying colleges and universities around the world, I’ve found that LECOM falls short in important areas when compared to similar institutions. However, as it is my custom, I will present reasons why you may consider attending LECOM and the negatives about the school. It is a comprehensive read that is a result of my research, interview with alumni and current students at LECOM, and opinions I found on forums about the school.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the reasons why LECOM could be a good medical school.

Why LECOM May Be a Great Option for Your Medical Studies?

Based on my findings, the following are some of the reasons why LECOM may be a great option for your medical studies. The school offers and features the following benefits:

  1. Affordable tuition fee
  2. Great student-faculty ratio 
  3. Flexible admission requirements 
  4. Three campus options 
  5. Availability of teaching hospitals 
  6. Customizable curriculum and learning pathways 
  7. Uniquely accelerated programs 

Affordable Tuition Fee

The average tuition fee for medical schools in the United States is $54,698 as reported by Educationdata.org. LECOM offers quite an affordable tuition fee for a medical school. Currently, the tuition fee at LECOM is $37,000 which is way below the average. The school provides a low-budget alternative for students who need to attend medical school but cannot afford to pay the high tuition rates that most schools charge. It is one of only a few medical schools in the country that offer a very reasonable program.

Great Student-Faculty Ratio

According to U.S. News, the student-faculty ratio at LECOM is 1:1. The student-faculty ratio refers to the number of students that attend a school divided by the number of staff in the same school. It is sometimes called the student-teacher ratio and LECOM has one of the best estimates in the country. LECOM’s student-faculty ratio is 1:1 indicating that there is a staff for every student in the institution. While this may be a good point, when we get to the negatives about the school, you will discover that this point really counts for nothing.

Flexible Admission Requirements 

LECOM has a flexible admission process. The school accepts students with a 2.7 GPA and offers three different channels to determine their eligibility for admission. LECOM considers both undergraduate and graduate GPAs, as well as ACT and/or SAT Critical Reading and Math scores, in its formula calculation for an Academic Index Score. The Academic Index Score (AIS) can be calculated using either your ACT score and GPA, your SAT score and GPA, or using both your ACT and SAT scores and GPA. For more information on LECOM admission requirements, please visit https://lecom.edu/college-of-osteopathic-medicine/com-entrance-requirements/.

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Three Campus Options 

You can choose from either Erie and Greensburg in Pennsylvania, Bradenton in Florida, or Elmira in New York. The school ensures that the quality of education remains the same across all campuses. If you cannot make it to the main campus in Pennsylvania, then Bradenton and Elmira are good options to choose from.

Availability of Teaching Hospitals 

LECOM is the only osteopathic medical school in the United States that has its own teaching hospital. Its owns Millcreek Community Hospital, Corry Memorial Hospital, and Warren General Hospital. The benefits of being affiliated with three teaching hospitals are enormous, and LECOM students benefit from the opportunity to work directly. Teaching hospitals are unique because they bring together medical education, research, and patient care in one location. Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are trained there. Teaching hospitals foster an environment of discovery where the latest advances in medicine can be made.

Customizable Curriculum and Learning Pathways 

The school offers a customizable curriculum and learning pathways. Students can choose between lecture-directed pathways, problem-based learning (PBL), and directed study pathways. The lecture-directed pathway involves mandatory lectures from Monday to Friday (8am-4pm). Certain modules are self-directed where you can choose the pace at which you study. As you progress through your years of learning, there will be fewer mandatory classes and more time for independent research/study. For problem-based learning, students get to work independently and meet regularly with a team of peers as well as an instructor to discuss progress.

The directed study pathway is a mix of both the lecture-directed pathway and problem-based learning.

Uniquely Accelerated Pathways 

The Erie campus Primary Care Scholars Pathway allows students to earn a degree equivalent to that of a traditional four-year osteopathic program in just three years. This is due to the college’s acknowledgment of a national shortage of primary care physicians, and its goal to increase graduate recruitment into specialties like Family and General Medicine. In addition to this, there is also an Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway available at the Greensburg campus only. This option allows Certified Physician Assistants (PAs) to earn a DO degree in three years.

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Why LECOM Is a Bad Choice for Medical School

As I said earlier, LECOM’s flaws outweigh the good points the school possesses. The following are some of the issues LECOM has that make it a bad choice for a medical school.

  1. Poor administration
  2. Campus dress code
  3. Unfair student treatment
  4. Messy online courses
  5. High staff turnover rate
  6. Rigid rotations

Poor Administration

Everything in LECOM is handled improperly. The school does not pay attention to the needs of students and they treat them with little care or concern. Students are not allowed to review exam questions which is one of the many flaws of the administration at LECOM.

Campus Dress Code 

Students are expected to dress professionally at all times while on campus. While there is a logical idea behind the dress code, many students find it unfair and objectionable. Dressing corporately all day does not go well for students especially when they can see their mates looking all good in their various campuses.

Unfair Student Treatment 

This point is connected to the poor administration in LECOM. The school’s administration does not place any priority on the way students are treated. According to a student at LECOM, the school does not allow students to speak out about their concerns and if they do so anyway, it is considered insubordination. This is not a problem, however, if you like to be told what to do and how to do it. In fact, it’s almost as if that were the point of going there in the first place. The school uses fear tactics to keep students in line by threatening them with failure or expulsion if they step out of line.

Messy Online Courses 

Most online courses are not well designed. Students are assigned readings and materials that are not relevant to the material being taught, and assignments consist of short essays that require little effort. Exams do not reflect course material but are instead designed to allow everyone to pass. The coursework is often pointless, with professors using it as an excuse to get out of doing real work. The curriculum is outdated and not relevant to the real world. Everything is too theoretical and fails to apply theories to real-world situations.

High Staff Turnover Rate

LECOM is reckoned for research. It is ranked No. 93 to No. 123 in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools for Research. Many of the professors and lecturers you will find at LECOM are there for the research, but when they have completed their work, they tend to move on. This is not to say that you will not find some professors who are there for the long haul, but they are few and far between. As a result, LECOM has a very high turnover rate in its faculty.

Rigid Rotations 

Another downside to LECOM is its rotations. The standard path of education for students interested in becoming doctors is to have hands-on training at so-called “rotations” where they can experience the practices firsthand. In LECOM, students undergo rigid rotations that are sponsored by the school.

What is LECOM Acceptance Rate?

LECOM acceptance rate is ∼10%. We do not have a specific number for what the LECOM acceptance rate is but we are sure that the school accepts somewhere around 10 students out of the number of applicants. The average cumulative GPA for LECOM’s most recent incoming class was 3.5. The average MCAT score was 503. LECOM is very selective in its admission process and you would have to be an exceptionally bright student to make it to LECOM.

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Which LECOM Campus is Better?

LECOM has four campuses in Erie, Seton Hill, Elmira, and Bradenton. From my experience in all four campuses, the best LECOM campus is in Erie, Pennsylvania. This assertion is also backed by a Reddit poll on which LECOM campus is better. You can read the Reddit poll here. One of the reasons why Erie is considered the best LECOM campus is because it has a clinic where students can easily do their rotations.

FAQs

Is it hard to get into LECOM?

LECOM has a flexible admission process. It is one of a few DO schools that allow students to choose in a flexible manner how they want to be graded for acceptance. On this note, getting into LECOM is not hard.

Is LECOM an accredited medical school?

The LECOM College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and its Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program has been granted specific accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. A Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree is one requirement for becoming a licensed physician in the state.

Is MCAT Required for LECOM?

LECOM is one out of a few schools in the United States that allow applicants to present alternatives to MCAT during their application. Students can decide to use MCAT or AIS as part of the grading for their admission into LECOM. While MCAT may not be a requirement, there are no exceptions to this as an applicant must either present the MCAT or an AIS.

Final Thoughts on Is LECOM a Good Medical School

We give credit to LECOM for being a school with affordable tuition fees, a great student-to-faculty ratio, flexible admission requirements, availability of teaching hospitals, customizable curriculums, and accelerated programs. But the flaws that the school has outweighs its benefits as a medical school. Some of these flaws include poor administration, campus dress code, unfair student treatment, messy online courses, high staff turnover rate, and rigid rotations.

That does it on my review on LECOM. If you have questions about LECOM as a medical school, let me know via the comment section.

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