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from pod to med???

Discussion in 'Podiatry Students' started by gobeavers, Dec 12, 2005.

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  1. gobeavers

    gobeavers Member

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    Hey guys,
    So, I am really excited about podiatric medicine, and I think it is a great thing, dont get me wrong. The thing I like about medical school is that it gives you more time to decide what you want to specialize in. Has anybody heard of anyone from Pod school being able to transfer into a MD or DO program if they feel that it is not the right thing for them to be doing?? For instance, could sombody transfer from DMU school of podiatric medicine into their DO program if, after exposure to the program, they decided it was not right for them?

    Somtimes the idea of specializing right away worries me...maybe i am crazy

    thanks guys!
  2. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    I've never heard of a US medical school that wil accept podiatry school tranfers. They may accept you, but not with any advanced standing or course credit. I've heard of some Carribean schools that will accept podiatry credit, but some of them even require a DPM degree before you can enter their MD program.

    My main concern is whether or not you really have thought this out. Your first year in podiatry school will cost you close to $50,000.00. Do you really want to throw that away? I don't think that anyone should invest $50,000.00 in an education when they aren't even really sure if they want to do it. My advice would be for you to do a whole lot more soul searching before you enter podiatry (or any other kind of) school.

    As an alternative, you could do something like the one-year MS program at Barry (There are other schools have them as well.) In this program, you take the very same courses as the podiatry students, after which you can apply to DO, MD, DDS, DVM or DPM schools (you will probably be able to transfer the podiatry courses to DPM schools), but at least you will have an MS degree. In other words, you'll get something for your fifty grand. One note, though-- you generally have to have a 3.0 and a 24 MCAT to qualify for a one-year program, but there are exceptions. Good Luck.
  3. gsrimport

    gsrimport Senior Member

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    NOVA has the accelerated DO program right after you get your DPM degree. You complete the DO program when you are doing your two year DPM residency and I believe you need another year for the DO internship. The catch is that you have to do a PMS-24 in order to get into the DO program. You can't do the PMS 36. Most people don't want to be in debt more and want to start repaying it. Besides, PMS-36 podiatrists generally make more than the family practice DOs but I'm sure money isn't an issue =) You're much more likely to get into a surgical residency after DPM school than DO school if you want to do surgery.
  4. runnersfeet

    runnersfeet Senior Member

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    If you are certain about being a doc, but not 100% set on podiatry, I would say to ONLY apply to MD and DO programs and NOT pod schools. That way you dont run the risk of realizing that you maybe dont love feet, after investing so much time and money . I think pod school is really only best when you are 100% sure it is what you want - you certainly have the option in MD/DO programs to wait 3.5 years to decide on a specialty and obviously there is more variety. Good luck :)
  5. dpmgrad

    dpmgrad Senior Member

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    You can actually learn more about the DO/DPM option with NOVA at:
    http://tuspm2008.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/dodpmprogram.pdf
    Basically, the DO/DPM option requires 4 additional years of training after getting your DPM degree. In your first year, you will be taking the required DO degree course work. In your second and third year, you will be completing your PM&S-24 and taking on the remainder of the DO degree course work. In the fourth year, you will then complete the one year DO internship, which some states require. Upon completion of the DO/DPM option, you will receive your DO degree and have completed PM&S-24 and DO internship year. Of course, you will have to take and pass the three parts of the COMLEX board exams as well (DO board exams). After the DO/DPM option, you are free to apply for a DO residency training in a medical specialty, if you choose to do so. If you wanted to apply to an allopathic residency training program (MD), you will probably have to sit in on the USMLE exams as well.
  6. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    There have been cases of DMU podiatry students dropping out and pursuing the DO program. However, they had to completely start over the next year with the incoming class. You can look into the NOVA program, but I personally think it's both a joke and a waste of time.
  7. gsrimport

    gsrimport Senior Member

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    dpmgrad,

    Thanks for the link. That is definately a long time.
  8. oncogene

    oncogene Senior Member

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    Jonwill,

    Why would they need to take all of the classes over if all of the first year classes are the same?
  9. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum SDN Advisor

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    That is the million dollar question!!! Good luck!
  10. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    That is a good question. I have no clue. As pods, we take the same classes and tests. It may be because you're starting a different program in a different college but that is just a guess. I'm not planning on finding out!
  11. Footfxr

    Footfxr Footfxr

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    Are you ignorant or stupid?
  12. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    What are you talking about? Neither! However, your senseless attack would indicate that you're one or both. Please clarify what you're SO CONFUSED about (I try and keep my posts nice and simple). :laugh:
  13. box29

    box29 Keep on keepin' on Member

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    Some medical schools do offer advanced standing for certain students that already hold terminal degrees such as PhD and DDS/DMD. I agree that it may be due to the structure of the curriculum as well as content and emphasis.

    I went through this not too long ago. I was at Scholl (would've been a PM4 now) and halfway through the first semester of second year, things weren't sitting right with me. Anyhoo, I applied to a bunch of schools (late) and got in to several fully realizing I'd have to repeat everything over. I ended up around $72K in loans for Scholl for 2 years. This was definitely expensive.

    Anyways, I wanted to add that there were 2 DPM's last cycle who were interviewing at my school that have completed their residencies (PSR-24) and have been practicing for about 3 years I think. They ended up going to AZCOM in the end.
  14. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Ya, but $72k in loans is better than doing something you wouldn't have been happy doing for the rest of your life.
  15. Don't take this decision lightly.

    It's what you will be doing for the rest of your life.
    If you are interested in podiatry, go for it, if you don't know, shadow a few pods and get some idea what the profession is all about, then research and select an excellent school.
  16. dpmgrad

    dpmgrad Senior Member

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    You're welcome. Yes, it does require quite a bit of time to complete.
  17. IlizaRob

    IlizaRob IlizaRob-erator Moderator Emeritus

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    So what was this all about?
  18. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    No clue.
  19. alparkeruab

    alparkeruab Member

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    What exactly is the point of going through this DPM/DO program? What benefits would one gain from having both degrees? Would the salary for a DPM/DO be anymore than a regular DPM or DO??

    It would take 8 years to complete this program, am I right?
  20. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, four years of DPM school, one year DO basic sciences, two years PM&S 24 residency (which also counts as two years of DO clinical at the same time), and one year of DO internship. So, you spend 8 years instead of 11 to get both degrees.

    It is designed for the podiatrist who wants a wider scope of practice-- not for someone who really wants to practice as a DO fulltime. Keep in mind that it is also the brainchild of the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine, who won't have a whole lot of certifying to do once all the Pediatric Orthopedic and Primary Medicine residencies are done away with. Keep in mind that there are currently only 2 or 3 slots for the year in this program and no scholarships available. Also, since many states are beginning to incorporate language in their podiatry scope of practice that will limit your ability to practice surgery with a PM&S 24, you may only be able to perform forefoot surgery, but you can also treat your patient for the flu at the same time as you trim his toenails.
  21. jonwill

    jonwill SDN Senior Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Therein lies the problem. The DPM/DO degree is recognized by no state or national board (nor will it be). Besides that point, it does nothing for scope of practice. If someone has a knee problem, you still can't treat it because even though DO is in your title, you didn't do a residency in ortho. If one of your patients has pneumonia, it's still out of scope because you didn't do an FP residency. The letters "DO" in your title mean nothing without the residency training. Theoretically, with the DPM/DO degree, you COULD attempt to enter a residency program (FP, for instance) but NO program would recognize your degree. There is info on the NOVA website about it but I disagree with most of the "advantages". If you want to be a DO, go to DO school. If you want to be a DPM, go to pod school.
  22. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    Not true. Most states only require one year of graduate medical education for full licensure as a physician. Check your state's requirements here. You usually apply for your state license after your internship year and taking Step 3 of the boards. You will not be board elligible in any specialty, and you shouldn't perform surgery that you aren't trained in, but you can certainly treat pneumonia any time you want to. You can also hang up a shingle and call yourself a General Practicioner. Most medical organisations ask patients to look at the specialty training their doctor has had before seeking his/her help. But residency isn'r required in many, many cases in order to practice as a physician. Residency is only required to become board elligible or board certified in a specialty.
  23. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    I should clarify that a little...most states require one year of graduate medical education from graduates of US medical schools. Most, but not all, require two or three years for foreign graduates (Carribean schools, etc.).

    The states requiring two years from US graduates are:

    Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Mass., New Hampshire, New Mexico, Penn., R. Island, S. Dakota, Utah, and Washington.

    Nevada requires three years from everyone.
  24. gsrimport

    gsrimport Senior Member

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    After completing the DO/DPM program, can't you apply to a DO residency?
  25. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    To my knowledge, there is nothing specifically preventing you from doing that. However, this program is not designed for that. It is designed for people who want to "practice podiatry in a more comprehesive manor" according to the people in charge of the program. Why would you waste four years of DPM school, only to spend three or more years of residency in some other field?

    Now, if you look at the residency requirements, many of them ask for letters of recommendation from the dean and/or professors of your medical school. Do you think that you will get those letters if you are not following the programs intentions? Without those, do you think you'll have a good chance at getting a residency?
  26. gsrimport

    gsrimport Senior Member

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    Very helpful, scpod. I still don't know how the DO program will help DPMs. I thought they could do something like 2 residencies so you could be in family practice and do foot/ankle surgery.
  27. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    If you've looked at all of those "Why should I be a podiatrist?" brochures floating around, you've seen that at some point they all mention that the symptoms of systemic diseases often manifest first in the foot. The podiatrist may be the first person to realize that the patient has diabetes, or high blood pressure, or cardio-vascular disease, etc. With the DO, you could treat the systemic diseases as well. You wouldn't have to refer the patient to his family doctor. In other words, patients could come to you with foot problems and you could potentially offer more treatments.

    That could lead to a larger practice, increased revenue, and potentially better serve the patient. Who wants to go to two doctors when one can solve all of your problems?

    Also the problem that often prevents podiatrists from becoming partners in orthopaedic practices is alleviated. While podiatrists may be hired to work in orthopaedic practices, they are not usually made partners because they can't take call like the other partners do. What happens if a different medical problem arises and the podiatrist is on call? If it is out of his scope of practice, then he can't handle it. With the DO he has increased his scope of practice tremendously, assuming that he is in one of the states that allows full licensure with one year of internship.
  28. alparkeruab

    alparkeruab Member

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    scpod,

    In your opinion, would it be worthwhile for a podiatrist to pursue this program?

    Do you think this program would help a podiatrist whos interested in pursuing sports medicine?
  29. alparkeruab

    alparkeruab Member

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    Do any of you know how competitive this program is, or how many students are accepted into it each year?
  30. dpmgrad

    dpmgrad Senior Member

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    If a Podiatrist is interested in pursuing sports medicine, there are several Sports Medicine fellowship opportunities for Podiatrists after completion of their residency training. You do not need a DO degree to focus on the Sports Medicine Lower Extremity issues. There is even an organization for Podiatrists interested in Sports Medicine. That organization is called the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and you can learn more about this association at http://www.aapsm.org
  31. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    A sports medicine fellowship would be much better suited for that purpose. I know that there are many, but the only one I am familiar with is the one at Barry.

    This is taken from the website:

    "The fellow attends to athletes from Barry University, the University of Miami and the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association, as well as local amateur athletes. The Disney sports complex in Orlando provides exposure to national and international professional and amateur athletes and sporting events. It also serves as the Atlanta Braves spring training facility. The fellow receives extensive exposure to physical therapy modalities and rehabilitation techniques from staff certified athletic trainers. Staff podiatric and orthopedic physicians provide the fellow with hands-on training, including both conservative and surgical management of athletic injuries. The fellow is on-call during athletic events and functions as part of the sports medicine team."

    You couln't get that type of experience in Sports Medicne from the DPM/DO program.
  32. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    It just started. The first year only had two people. They were only planning on two or three people at the beginning and there are no scholarships available. You would have to come up with your own funding to participate. And, while everyone is invited to apply, people from Florida receive first priority.
  33. IlizaRob

    IlizaRob IlizaRob-erator Moderator Emeritus

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    An ortho group would never make you partner with a DO degree and a 1 yr internship. Nor will the hospital let you do ortho surgery. Pods are not likely to make partner in an ortho practice because they cant take general call. A family practice physician, cardiologist or a gasteroenterologist would also not likely be made partner because they wouldnt be able to take general ortho call either. I dont think the DO degree would give you any advantage if you are set at practicing podiatry. The hospitals will recognize you as either a DO as whatever specialty, or a podiatrist. You really cant practice both. If you had a private practice, sure you might see a few people that you could treat that is beyond a pods scope but most of your patients that see you as a podiatrist will have problems in your scope. Should complications arise such as vascular insufficiency, you would refer to a vascular surgeon instead of doing it yourself. Im just saying that having a DO degree when practicing podiatry may allow you to remove a wart on someone's hand or prescribe meds for hypertension but you would refer most patients out anyway with problems out of scope. This is all assuming that you live in a state that allows you full family practice scope with 1 yr residency. To me its not worth it. Save time and money and either go to just DO school or Pod school.
  34. scpod

    scpod Moderator Emeritus

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    You don't get the point. We're not talking about some general ortho call here; we're talking about call within a group of orthopedic surgeons. The "call" person in that group is the one that has to work one weekend every month or six weeks (whatever, depending on how many people are in the practice) and look in on post-op patients. There isn't any surgery involved. We're not talking about the trauma surgeon who is called for orthopedic injuries in the middle of the night.

    No, the FP, gastro, or cardio guy would never be made partner because they don't have years of orthopedic experience, but the properly trained podiatrist does, albeit with the foot, ankle, and lower leg. A typical orthopedic practice has surgeons whose work include spine, shoulder, hand, hip, knee, feet, fractures and trauma cases. However, rarely do any of them do it all, or even a large part of it. They actually specialize within the group. Someone does just spines, someone does just hands, etc. They all take call because they can recognise problems that occur in orthopedic patients after surgery, but they would never practice outside of their specialized area of expertise, nor would the DPM. However, the DPM is not allowed to treat a hand, even though he can recognise the symptoms of infection, he cannot write a scrip for it. The DO, who is also a DPM, can both recognise the problem in the hand and legally treat it.

    Now, I never offered my opinion on it, but I seriously doubt that I would ever go through the program myself. I don't think that very many people would profit from it, but it does have a lot to offer in certain cases. It would be nice to not have to refer a patient to another person for small, treatable problems that even podiatrists have studied. Remember, that you are still required to do rotations in diagnostic modalities, medicine and medical subspecialties, general surgery and surgical subspecialties, anesthesiology, and emergency medicine in addition to podiatric surgery and podiatric medicine during your podiatry residency. In most residencies you work in Internal medicine and/or family medicine and are expected to be just as productive as any MD or DO student. I don't hink I would ever do it. But, someone asked, so I answered.
  35. IlizaRob

    IlizaRob IlizaRob-erator Moderator Emeritus

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    I agree. I think that maybe a podiatrist who has been in practice a while and is not satisfied with what they do may benefit from the program if he is interested in other medicine. But then they would most likely want to do a complete residency. The question is: is there enough of a demand for this that will allow the program to be successful? I personally dont think so. But I guess we will see. My advice to anyone who is premed and is thinking about doing this should just go to DO school. Although podiatry is easier to get into than DO school due to number of applicants vs seats, DO school isnt that hard to get into either. I think it is safe to say that the majority of pod students today could have gone DO if they wanted. MD may be a different story. In any event, save the heart ache and just go DO. Otherwise, stick with pod.
  36. alparkeruab

    alparkeruab Member

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    Would someone who went DO route solely have opportunities to do one of those sports medicine fellowships?

    If someone wanted to do the sports medicine specialty, do you think it would be better for them to pursue the DPM or DO route?
  37. dpmgrad

    dpmgrad Senior Member

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    There are separate sports medicine fellowships for the md/do. There are sports medicine fellowships for the primary care physicians. Orthopedic Surgeons can concentrate on Sports Medicine as well and there are sports medicine fellowships for the Orthopedic Surgeons, such as the one at Boston University. Hence, you can choose to focus on Sports Medicine through MD/DO or DPM routes.
  38. ladpm

    ladpm Member

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    Hi all -

    I wanted to put my 2 cents in on some of things I read:

    - I agree that you need to be 100% sure that you want to be in podiatry. Its a great field with a important niche in medicine. You can make a very good living

    - There are some med schools in the Caribean that will accept a DPM following graduation. But from what I read, these schools are in violation of some kind of regulation with substandard facilities and education. From what I've seen, those who pick up the MD still practice podiatry.

    - I recommend St. George Medical school as an alternative. I've met med students from there and its a really good school with acceptance stats (MCAT, GPA) similar to DO schools in the states. They rotate in California or Florida during their 3rd and 4th years. How can you say no when you study on the beach in Grenada?

    - With the new residency training format, it will give better opportunities working in orthopedic groups because those ortho guys will know what the training consists of and they only care about the big joints. (DPM are a now equally competent, yet a cheaper alternative to Foot/Ankle orthopods) I know a good handful of those recently graduated from residencies this past summer that are in practice with good ortho groups. I think a podiatrist I talked to in Palo Alto is a partner with an ortho group, although it took him some time.

    - There is a rumor about a med school in Philadelphia (not Temple) that accepts transfers from other allied health graduate schools. Again this is only a rumor.

    - A benefit with the DO/DPM degree is that you can (I think) get better reimbursements from insurance plans. Basically more money for the same podiatric procedures.

    - I agree that getting into a DO school is not as difficult than getting into a DPM school. DO's can do essentially the same things as MD's. Its as respectable to the MD's at least on the west coast.

    - This part is for those who are in pod school that want to go to med school here in the states. There is hope, but its a long, long road. I've personally talked over the phone to a R3 internal med resident in San Jose who got her DPM degree first. She took her MCATs and got in @ USC-Keck. I've recently talked to a fourth year medical student from a DO school in Arizona doing an externship at my hospital who also went to podiatry school first. Even my senior resident has finished his application to med school and is waiting for interviews for the next fall. They said that their podiatry background really played a role in their acceptance. And yours truly will be next as I apply to MD schools this summer.

    - Med schools are leaning towards the non-traditional applicants with more life experience. Everyone I talked to (attendings, med interns) tell me that podiatry has enhanced my probablities greatly.

    - Here are some of my humble suggestions to those who still want to pursue an MD degree:
    1. Get your DPM degree. It will show the admission comittee that you can accomplish a rigorous graduate coursework similar to an allopathic cirrcumlum
    2. Study the MCAT. It will be converted to a computer base format next year. The exam is shorter and with a wider standard deviation meaning it will be easier to score a higher score (probably because it is the first year that it will be used) Plus you get your score at the end of the exam instead of waiting for 2 months in agony. Do a prep course
    3. Optional: do a residency. This will get your letters of recommendation during your medicine rotations. In my case, the MD attendings have affliations with USC, Loma Linda, UCLA-Drew, and Western Med. Networking is very key.
    4. Optional: research. doing a research project at a local medical school will definitely get yourself a good foothold to getting in even with above average MCATs

    Sorry for the long post

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