Pacific College of Oriental Medicine - San Diego
I hesitate to write about my true feelings concerning my alma mater, however I feel it is important to be completely honest about my experience at the school. When I began taking classes full time I felt that the school was the best place in the world. I felt that I was part of something great and I felt that the entire school, staff, faculty and student body were all on the same page. That is: bringing this wonderful medicine to the world by giving the best care possible.
While on the surface that may still be the mission of the school, I feel that the directors, administration and to some extent the faculty and staff have lost sight of how important it is to have the student body feel that they are still respected and supported. When I began taking classes I didn't much care that the school was looking a bit "spartan" in its accommodations. Now, I look at the school and its facilities and I don't see it that way, it looks "run down." It's like the administration indirectly is telling the students that they are not worthy of having decent desks, chairs and class rooms. I can only imagine that there is a percentage of students who have little school pride and do not care for the property of the school. These "students" contribute to the overall "run down" look of the school, but I feel that this lack of school pride has trickled down from above. When the school seems to put the bottom line as its first priorty, the students feel that they are just there to pay their tuition and be thankful that they even have a chair to sit on. It seems logical to me that students, who pay lots of money to attend the school are customers, and when customer service is basically an afterthought, business will suffer.
Perhaps this is largely due to the fact that when you are the only school in town, there is no competition and little incentive to change your ways. Complaints can be brushed off because there aren't other options for the "customers/students."
I do want the best for my alma mater, and I do have some school pride still remaining (I still keep my PCOM sticker on my car) however, I can only look at some recent "reports" that the school's clinic is seeing a decline in patient numbers as an indication of the overall ills of the school as a whole. When there is talk of package discounts and the like, to get patients to return to the clinic, I see this as a branch treatment, with the root cause not being addressed.
Treat the root! The administration should change the way it thinks about the role of the school (not profit driven, but quality driven), and the value of its students which are its life blood. School pride must come from the top down. A beautiful school environment, a positive relationship between the administration, staff, faculty and student body, and a genuine desire to give the best at all times will make this school the champion of Asian medicine that it once was.