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Ok, here's my problem. I've already gotten into an osteo school that I like a lot and I definitely want to be a D.O.
However, I didn't know this when I applied and put apps in at both DO and MD schools. Yesterday I visited a particular allopathic school and loved it. It was the only allopathic school I really liked whereas all the DO schools I've seen were exciting to me simply because they were osteopathic.
For almost every reason, it would make sense to choose the allopathic school (less expensive, near my family, really good affiliations, etc.), but I really want to be a D.O.
Does anyone know of a case where someone who wanted to be a DO went to an MD school and was sorry for doing it? I mean, I love everything about osteopathy in theory, but what if I pay twice as much money and choose to go to the osteo school to find out that OMM, the philosophy and everything that I love about Osteopathic medicine just isn't worth the sacrifices I'd be making.
I realize the answer to this question ultimately depends on me and how much I want certain things, etc. But I'd love to hear people's opinions and experiences on the matter if any. Thanks everyone.
11-19-1999, 12:40 PM
Have you been accepted to this allopathic medical school?? If you have only visited it, there is always unfortunately that chance of not being accepted. So maybe you are just a little ahead of yourself. I also have the same problem myself. I have been treated by a D.O. my entire life and love the philosophy that surrounds the profession, but cost is a major concern. Fortunatly for me I am strongly considering the University of Iowa and Des Moines University Osteopathic both of which are near my family. The only advice I can give is do what will make you the happiest in the end. I know that sounds like a mother because that is what my mother tells me all the time. The cost will pay for itself in the end if you are happy doing what you love. Talk to family and friends and make a decision and NEVER look back. Good luck!!
11-19-1999, 01:15 PM
Here's what I would do.
Spend more time with a DO, especially one who regularly uses OMT in his/her practice. Find out how important OMT is to you and to what extent you think you would use it in your own practice. If you can't live without OMT, then your choice is made--go DO.
As far as osteopathic philosophy, I may be in the minority (maybe not), but I think that an MD could easily treat patients in a holistic manner that would seem to embody osteopathic philosophy. The school you go to doesn't need to provide you with a philosophy of how to treat patients--that is up to you. If you accept that a person is more than the sum of their individual parts, and that there are other factors than simply disease that contribute to a person's state of health (i.e.-environmental, psychological, etc.) then you can choose to treat a person based on all of those aspects--whether the letters behind your name are DO or MD.
Choosing to attend school a great distance from family with seriously increased cost of tuition (I'm assuming this MD program is probably a state school from what you said) is a combination of many considerations. Financial decisions are a big part of it--money shouldn't keep you from going where you really want to go, but it has to play a part, especially when you look at repaying all of that debt following graduation.
Visit each school again, if possible. Consider factors outside of the schools themselves, such as recreation activities, how much you would enjoy living there, clinical exposure (which you mentioned), etc.
Good luck with your decision.
NSU-COM Class of 2004
I agree with Boomer 100%. Many factors go into where you choose to study medicine (school, location, cost, opportunities, and most importantly acceptance). You can take OMM classes after getting your MD if that is your desire. I imagine this will become the norm for many MDs in the future when more research is conducted showing the hard evidence that OMM is effective. The degree does not make the physician. Good luck.
Thanks to everyone for the great advice. It's true I haven't been officially accepted at the allopathic school, but my interviewer was VERY optomistic and basically told me I should get in (of course, not in so many words). Sorry if I sounded too presumptious.
It's good to know that no matter what I choose, I can still learn OMT if that's my choice (I forgot about that). There's an old thread on MD's learning OMT that I'm going to have to revisit. Anyway, I guess I have a little more research to do before I make this decision. Thanks again everybody!
11-19-1999, 09:31 PM
I know exactly how you feel. I've been accepted at my top choice for a DO school but have also interviewed at an in state MD school where I stand a good chance at getting in. I am facing a potential (if I get in) difference of around $100,000 in tuition b/w the two. I happen to live in NC and we have the 2 cheapest medical schools in the coutry (~ $3,000 a year).
I am sold on the philosophy and misson of osteopathic medicine. However, to mirror Boomer's sentiment, I believe that being holistic in approaching patients is an intrinsic factor and attending a school can at best, support and help you develop that trait.
My advice to you is hang onto the DO spot, read more, surf more, talk to DOs more and keep in mind that the process is still early. The issue of moving has potential advantages and liabilities. For one, it's good to step out of your comfort zone and getting exposure to a different culture, weather and attitudes can do you some good. On the other hand, you have the issue of added expense, maybe not liking your new surroundings, etc.
One last thing to remember is that medical school is only 1/2 of your training. Residency/fellowships will have as much, if not more, an effect on your skills, attitudes and reputation.
Class of 2004 (somewhere)
Happiness isn't having what you want, it is wanting what you have.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
[This message has been edited by Mayqswet (edited 11-20-1999).]
11-20-1999, 07:41 AM
On the issue of OMT and being a MD, I would think about future state regulation designating who can and cannot perform OMT. The Chiropractic profession is actively fighting for limiting the professions that have the right to perform spinal manipulation. This is primarily against physical therapists. I fell that many states will eventually only allow DO's and Chiropractors to perfom spinal manipulation. On that note, beware that taking the MD route may not allow you to perform OMT in the future, no matter how many OMT classes you take.
11-20-1999, 08:13 AM
I don't think that osteopathic medicine will ever come out against MD's practicing OMT. There are too many COM's making money off of continuing education programs (CME) in OMT for DO's, MD's, and PT's. However, it will be more expensive to complete all that CME and get your skills up in OMT as an MD if you try to learn it all on a post-graduate basis. So, in that vein, the higher tuition costs for DO schools might be more cost effective in the long run if you plan on using OMT. Check out some of the CME programs for OMT for MD's...it costs mucho dinero, not to mention the time away from your future busy practices.
11-29-1999, 04:28 PM
I'd like to give you some good feed-back, but I feel a little bit confused as to what your motivations exactly are. I think that there are many cliques within the osteopathic profession from which you'll be able to choose should you go to an osteopathic school. One of these is very allopathic, but that one doesn't concern us right now. Another isn't all that different from allopaths, but human contact is easier in this group. I remember being a little boy, and what made me want to be a doctor more than anything else was the sort of touch my pediatrician could do, that no one else I knew could do quite the same: impersonal, yet highly personal. He was an M.D. incidentally. But, and here's the kicker, if you want to go to the A.A.O. convocation each of your next four years, and manipulation is more of a necessity than an option, the way it was for me as I was finishing college, then head on over. And I'll see you there.