Menu Icon Search
Close Search

About the ads

  1. If you prefer the SDN Blue style, go to the bottom left of the page and select "SDN Blue"

Why do DO students want to match MD? Seriously?

Discussion in 'Osteopathic' started by SMC123, 03.31.12.

  1. SMC123

    SMC123

    Joined:
    06.30.09
    Messages:
    266
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Ok, so I have been in a osteopathic medical school for some time, and am getting ready to take the COMLEX. Many people have told me to take the USMLE to keep doors open in the future. I would really like to know the basic nitty gritty on what is the advantage of taking the USMLE.

    1. If i wanted to match into a field such as ROADS, why wouldn't I just try to match it in the DO world? They are the same money, same job, same work ethic. Why does the residency program really matter that much??

    2. Wouldn't it be easier to match a high speciality in the DO world compared to taking the USMLE and competing with so many other MDS and out of country students??

    3. If I wanted to do IM, is it true that my fellowships are limited by going into the DO world? Does the DO world not have fellowships itself?

    Honestly, I really don't understand what is the big deal in taking the USMLE, when we have been told all along that the DO world provides the same exact specalities. Granted with less spots they may be more harder to get into, but are probably still easier than applying to MD residencies with so many more applicants?

    If someone could provide me as much detail as possible, it would be great to finally get this cleared up! Thanks!
  2. upright

    upright

    Joined:
    05.20.11
    Messages:
    168
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Get out of here with this jive. There is no way on Earth you're a medical student.
  3. Wolverines83

    Wolverines83 ASA Member

    Joined:
    09.29.10
    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    NYC Metro
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    location....there are entire states/sections of the country w/out aoa residencies. even worse for specialties. but i hear your argument; if there was aoa in the area i want to settle i'd def do it.
  4. bravotwozero

    bravotwozero Chronically ambitious

    Joined:
    09.19.04
    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    Detroit
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Not so simple when you look at things like board certification, geography, and trying to look for employment. Allopathic rads and anesthesia boards have far more recognition, and will make it easier for you to land a job of your choice. Check the gas forum for more details on this.

    Also, this becomes a major issue if you want to practice internationally. My native Canada is a good example. If I want to practice in the province of Ontario, I have to either a) complete an acgme residency and get BC, or b) match into a Canadian residency (NOT an easy thing to do, though it has been done)

    Short answer, yes. However, see above. And, DO residencies are not as tightly regulated as their allopathic counterparts - this is particularly true in EM, which results in a lack of standardization; basically, some DO programs are excellent, whereas others are just plain crappy. Many DO programs are at smaller, community hospitals, in undesirable locales, and often don't have the volume or acuity that you may need in your specialty of training.

    Yes, you will limit your fellowship chances, depending on what it is you want to do. DO fellowships are far fewer that allopathic fellowships; in some areas, they are simply nonexistant. New ACGME rules are now saying that to do an acgme fellowship, you MUST do an ACGME residency.

    I am a strong advocate for every DO student wanting to go the acgme route to take the USMLE for a number of reasons. Firstly, the USMLE is a much better test of my medical knowledge than the CRAPLEX. Secondly, many allopathic program directors have NO CLUE about how to interpret the comlex. Some md programs straight up say on their website that the usmle is required for all applicants md and do. Taking the usmle levels the playing field, and a good usmle score is strong equalizer between you and your usmd/fmg competition. There are plenty of allopathic programs that will take qualified DO applicants, but will not accept the comlex.
  5. Bacchus

    Bacchus PGY Too-many-expectations Moderator

    Joined:
    04.27.07
    Messages:
    19,134
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN Published Author SDN 7+ Year Member
    Just to throw in about ROAD specialties. There's a mantra on SDN which I'm sure is based in reality that the A in ROAD gets better training in an ACGME residency and you may find parts of the country which won't hire you.
  6. ManBroDude

    ManBroDude Half man, half bearpig

    Joined:
    03.08.11
    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    I'm super cereal, you guys!
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hypothetical situation: Imagine yourself finishing your final year of a DO diagnostic radiology residency, and you look out at the job market. What do you see? Difficulty in finding a good job is what you see. All your colleagues are encouraging you to do a year or two fellowship in order to increase your competitiveness in something like vascular or interventional radiology. Guess what? The only fellowships that exist are ACGME fellowships. With proposed GME changes, only people who went to ACGME residencies could go to ACGME fellowships, which means you couldn't. Well, you could, but you'd have to redo your rads residency at an MD program.

    samples of fellowships: http://residency.wustl.edu/medadmin/resweb.nsf/L/B1A2B4EE4AF135B386256F8F0072972A?OpenDocument
  7. scarshapedstar

    scarshapedstar MD c/o 2016

    Joined:
    10.13.10
    Messages:
    1,130
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    *looks at post*
    *looks at calendar*
    *looks at responses to post*

    :thumbup:
  8. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    07.09.07
    Messages:
    930
    Location:
    it's always hot!
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    well said
  9. bleeker10

    bleeker10

    Joined:
    07.11.08
    Messages:
    1,232
    Location:
    GA
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    Just because it's a DO residency doesn't mean its any easier to match into it. Read the osteopathic derm thread and you will see it takes a lot of effort (and even doing FP residency) and time to get into it. I was told by someone who went for DO ENT this year that there were only 20 spots available for at least 100 applicants and those places only took students who rotated there. The student had a backup specialty just in case. So in these instances it will be super hard no matter which match you choose.
  10. skinnyDO

    skinnyDO witty phrase here

    Joined:
    03.06.12
    Messages:
    39
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Is it really difficult to find a job as a DO radiologist?!

  11. Scorcher31

    Scorcher31 Member

    Joined:
    11.26.05
    Messages:
    274
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I can tell you that on principle I diddn't take USMLE just Comlex and got interviews at most of the best east coast psych programs with no difficulty at all. DO programs have been around for quite some time and it's finally getting to the point where almost all the MDs say its pretty much the same darned thing. I haven't met a program director yet that diddn't understand my Comlex scores. If you are going for ROADS or maybe a competitive IM fellowship, go for it, but otherwise I'd say forget it. I personally wouldn't give a program the time of day if they hadn't had a D/O come through before or if they acted like they were doing me any kind of favor for taking me as a DO. Get good scores, get good letters, be involved, and get good grades in your classes and nothing else matters. With that said there are very few DO psych programs so I just went for an ACGME program that I liked and was close for my wife.
  12. sylvanthus

    sylvanthus EM/IM/CC PGY-2

    Joined:
    09.09.08
    Messages:
    2,721
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    The problem is the USMLE is a better test period. You can more easily prepare for the questions on the exam and if you study and study hard you know you are going to get returns on the actual exam. While the COMLEX is very much a crapshoot. The COMLEX is wildly unpredictable and has poorer questions. I don't think anyone can argue with this.

    So for those students wanting a return on their hard work. I definately think taking the USMLE is a wise idea.

    If anything I think principle should dictate taking the better exam, but thats just me.
  13. Dissected

    Dissected When in doubt, cut it out

    Joined:
    07.16.08
    Messages:
    2,661
    Location:
    A fly-over state
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    Plenty of students I know matched into OB/GYN, FP, IM, Psych, EM with just a comlex, sure...

    But ACGME Surgery, Anesthesiology, Rads, Selective IM programs, and certain (seemingly random) EM programs will want to see a USMLE. Keep your options open folks! Lots of people change their minds 3rd year and wish they would have taken a crack at the USMLE -- some peeps in my class have had to sacrifice their training options and settle. All because they didn't spend a day answering questions, whether it be due to "principles" (silly reason in my opinion), fear of doing poorly or laziness.
  14. Zercolops

    Zercolops

    Joined:
    08.15.10
    Messages:
    36
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Sums it up pretty nicely. :thumbup:
  15. Scorcher31

    Scorcher31 Member

    Joined:
    11.26.05
    Messages:
    274
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I was also someone who refused to repeat MCAT even though my score was way below my practice test scores. I just diddn't see the need. As i said ROADS, IM fellowships and big name programs it's probably a good idea. I'm not arguing with that. I just think med students worry too much in general about scores, tests, grades. If you know you want a less competitve speciality USMLE is just not needed. There are so many good ACGME residencies out there that are totally accepting of DOs and COMLEX scores. You'll find out that patient's will have no idea where you went to college, med school or residency and you will make just as much money as those that went to big name expensive schools. In the end your contacts and business skills will help you the most if you are really concerned about money. If you want to push yourself for the top residencies, then by all means go for it, but make sure you enjoy what you are doing and don't burn yourself out in the process.
  16. SmokD

    SmokD

    Joined:
    06.03.09
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    NYC
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Your right on this, if your sure you know what you want to do. People do change their minds, and I know a few people in my class who only took the comlex and ended up changing their minds midway through 3rd year. Now they're restudying for Step I. More options are ALWAYS better than fewer.
  17. Dissected

    Dissected When in doubt, cut it out

    Joined:
    07.16.08
    Messages:
    2,661
    Location:
    A fly-over state
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Exactly.

    Some of the top achievers in my class are now having to study during rotations to take the exam so that they can be considered at programs who want a USMLE score. That royally sucks. Others just can't realistically do that and have to limit their applications to the DO match in their specialty of choice (Anesthesia) since their COMLEX is not astoundingly high, which is NOT ideal in a few specialties (i.e. Anesthesia!!).
  18. DO Anes

    DO Anes ASA Member

    Joined:
    06.24.07
    Messages:
    240
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Sure, why try your best when you can be "good enough"?
    Last edited: 04.12.12
  19. Chimpanzee

    Chimpanzee

    Joined:
    04.12.12
    Messages:
    21
    1. For those specialties, it is actually a great idea to apply to osteopathic programs. Why not increase your chances though and apply to both?

    2. Yes, it is easier. Some programs are better than others and you obviously want to get trained well. That means applying to some ACGME programs as well.

    3. Yes, it is better to do ACGME if you want to do a fellowship, but that doesn't mean an osteopathic program will prevent you from fellowships.
  20. Bacchus

    Bacchus PGY Too-many-expectations Moderator

    Joined:
    04.27.07
    Messages:
    19,134
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN Published Author SDN 7+ Year Member
    Unless the ACGME approves the current legislation banning DO residency graduates from participating in ACGME fellowships.

    Not to mention, it's "mandated" to do ACGME anes.
  21. thomprya

    thomprya

    Joined:
    11.03.09
    Messages:
    149
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    are there literally no respectable gas residencies via AOA? .... just curious.
  22. Bacchus

    Bacchus PGY Too-many-expectations Moderator

    Joined:
    04.27.07
    Messages:
    19,134
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN Published Author SDN 7+ Year Member
    The consensus I've seen on SDN is there is low case volumes with too much variability. They exist, but I've also heard that there isn't nearly as much clout as the ACGME programs.
  23. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder

    Joined:
    11.21.05
    Messages:
    3,119
    Location:
    Travelling Rent-A-Doctor
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    Seriously doubt it. Like any doctor has trouble finding a job once they finish? I find it interesting that those spouting difficulty as a physician in the job market are pre-meds who think that the MD degree/residency is superior. No on cares what your initials are in the job market, just that you have no liabilities, have a clean license and are board certified. Period.
  24. cyclohexanol

    cyclohexanol No, no. Doggie afuera.

    Joined:
    06.28.05
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Snowed In
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    Really? You, assuming you are a DO student, are in the unique position to apply to both AOA and ACGME residencies. By not taking the USMLE, you run the risk of losing access to a huge number of potential residency opportunities. I don't understand what the argument is for NOT taking it. In fact I can only think of 1 good reason, and that is that you took an NBME practice test 2 days prior to your test date and bombed it.

    You are already studying for COMLEX 1, which is essentially the same material (although the USMLE is, as mentioned above, an exceedingly superior exam). The test will cost you what, $500?? That's pissing in the ocean compared to what you will owe in loans.

    Again assuming you are actually a student, you will have realized that the vast majority of medical students change their path during med school. What you want to do as a 2nd year when you take step 1 will almost certainly not be what you end up doing. You may think you want to do FP all the way, then during 3rd/4th year realize you really like GSurg. Having that USMLE score sure could help!

    More than a few of my former classmates only took COMLEX, then later decided they wanted to take USMLE as well only to find out that it's a bitch to study for a second time. Don't risk being in that situation, just take both at the same time and get them over with...
  25. Oxer45

    Oxer45

    Joined:
    02.26.08
    Messages:
    183
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    You only have a hard time finding a job as a doctor if you're location limited or only want to work in a highly sought after job (academic attending in a cushy place). Instead of believing panicked pre-meds/med students, I believe in numbers and economics: There is currently a shortage of doctors in almost every specialty.
  26. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder

    Joined:
    11.21.05
    Messages:
    3,119
    Location:
    Travelling Rent-A-Doctor
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    Radiologists are probably the least inhibited by their location. Most everything is digital anymore and a lot of rads actually work from home. That's why NightHawk works so well. American radiologists in Australia dictating films since our night time is their daytime. Most rural rads is outsourced and you never really know where the actual person is dictating from.
    Last edited: 04.17.12
  27. jumpmanv15

    jumpmanv15

    Joined:
    04.13.12
    Messages:
    613
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    lets say you do end up doing poorly on the USMLE as a DO student, wouldnt it hurt you more than help you? In that case wouldnt you just prefer having your COMLEX score?
  28. sylvanthus

    sylvanthus EM/IM/CC PGY-2

    Joined:
    09.09.08
    Messages:
    2,721
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    Then you just apply to DO programs and don't report your usmle score. You only have to report it if you apply to MD programs.
  29. Whiskeypunch

    Whiskeypunch

    Joined:
    06.11.11
    Messages:
    211
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Just an FYI the radiology job market is really crappy right now and on the business side a lot of groups are hemorrhaging cash. ACGME rad's grads are doing fellowships because they can't find jobs. Situation is even worse for those that do DO residencies.

    A lot of folks have a perspective on radiology that was true in like 2008 (500k a year starting, can work anywhere, partners bathing in rooms of cash).

    There's definitely an oversupply of radiologists in the current reimbursement environment.

    This happened to path too a while back and it's only gotten uglier. Telerads groups are kind of nasty as well and might take over the national market if the oversupply of radiologists continues.
  30. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder

    Joined:
    11.21.05
    Messages:
    3,119
    Location:
    Travelling Rent-A-Doctor
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    1. I wasn't talking about the job market, I was talking about location flexibility
    2. I could care less about radiologists ability to get work as an FP, personally I don't buy it.
    3. How would you know this as a 1st yr med student?
    4. Were you a rad tech in your former life?
    5. Not sure how you can say that a DO rad would have a worse time than an MD rad? You are just perpetuating that there is a difference of pay in the real world. There isn't.

    Hmm, not buying your "facts" here. Sorry.
  31. r90t

    r90t Senior Member

    Joined:
    03.02.04
    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Why to do an ACGME residency:

    1. perception that the MD training is better. Universities have much deeper pockets than traditional DO programs. Who has more financial availability UCLA or Pomona?

    2. better "name brand medicine" recognition (nationally, a patient will recognize Mayo, but what is the DO equivalent?)

    3. training is actually better. Yes, it can be!

    4. residency not available through traditional DO residencies. (My case, no rad onc residencies offered in the DO community).

    Why take USMLE? You put yourself in the running for a highly selective MD residency. Without those scores you may be automatically excluded from an interview, as some programs don't know how to interpret COMLEX. My program likely wouldn't interview a DO or an FMG unless they had something to show that the could compete with the MD/PhDs that were applying. We had so many excellent candidates that we did not offer interviews to, that you have to have it to be in the running.
  32. boone95

    boone95

    Joined:
    08.15.08
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Solely in the case of EM, all DO programs are 4 years.... in the MD world, there are many 3 year programs. Easy choice for me.
  33. Consigliere

    Consigliere

    Joined:
    05.28.08
    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Why do DO students want to match MD? Easy. The residency training programs are infinitely better.

    End of discussion.
  34. GimpGenius

    GimpGenius

    Joined:
    09.18.11
    Messages:
    170
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    What's your metric for determining "infinitely better" ? I'm not trying to be condescending; just curious why there's an assumption that all MD residencies are always better than any DO residency.
  35. Dissected

    Dissected When in doubt, cut it out

    Joined:
    07.16.08
    Messages:
    2,661
    Location:
    A fly-over state
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    As stated below in several posts:

    [In General]
    More resources
    More research
    More pathology
    More variety
    More options
    More fellowships
    More locations
    Better reputability
    ...

    If an AOA program is a better fit for you, go for it. By your second year of medical school though, it's really hard to be certain about what options you will want to have.

    You are a pre-med..all of this will become clear in due time. I still have much to learn myself.
  36. Roguelyn

    Roguelyn

    Joined:
    04.22.12
    Messages:
    293
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I wanted to stay in a particular geographic region and the constant shouting about DOs practicing better medicine really chapped my hide....the AOA practically shoved me into an ACGME program. There aren't a whole lot of choices around here anyway.
  37. Consigliere

    Consigliere

    Joined:
    05.28.08
    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    The Osteopathic Mantra.
  38. yankeefan18

    yankeefan18

    Joined:
    01.06.12
    Messages:
    74
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    That's an awfully large paintbrush you're working with, Doctor
  39. MtHoodWood

    MtHoodWood

    Joined:
    05.08.11
    Messages:
    19
    Location, location, location.
  40. Consigliere

    Consigliere

    Joined:
    05.28.08
    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Life.
  41. Consigliere

    Consigliere

    Joined:
    05.28.08
    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    If the shoe fits....
  42. GimpGenius

    GimpGenius

    Joined:
    09.18.11
    Messages:
    170
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    So DO's are the living dead? You'd think the AOA would push for more neurosurgery spots.
  43. bajastapler

    bajastapler

    Joined:
    11.25.09
    Messages:
    226
    SDN 2+ Year Member
  44. 0011000100

    0011000100

    Joined:
    12.14.11
    Messages:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yes. Location and competitiveness.
  45. gmreed2

    gmreed2 OMS-III

    Joined:
    07.30.08
    Messages:
    91
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    a
    Last edited: 09.21.13
  46. Makati2008

    Makati2008 Moderator

    Joined:
    12.18.08
    Messages:
    1,130
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I noticed your signature line are you a np that went back to med school?
  47. mystirkb

    mystirkb

    Joined:
    08.06.09
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    certain fellowships require MD residency training. Medical genetics is one of them and I have an interest in that. There are probably others but that is why as a D.O. student I'm taking the USMLE.
  48. Kate429

    Kate429

    Joined:
    04.21.11
    Messages:
    24
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You can also apply to dually accredited programs, with only the COMLEX. That is my plan ---but I am planning on family practice and being VERY much an older non-trad, who has worked in the medical field for 30 years, I think I'm pretty set on it! No need for me to do the USMLE -- one more test to try to fit in before moving and starting rotations the end of June --that's why I'm not doing it.

    Kate
  49. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

    Joined:
    02.01.12
    Messages:
    8,209
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    according to the signature I am going to go with DNP who is self-identifying as an attending physician.....

    Sure wish I had known that RN + about a years worth of team building classes equated to 2 years of borderline murderous basic science education, 2 years of rigorous clinical training, and 3-7 years of doctor+"training wheels".........

    (if you actually are an attending I apologize, however if you are actually a DNP as described above you are literally the embodiment of all of the problems that arise in the mid-level threads we have around here) No degree, IMO, is "doctorate level" if you can get it online. Period
  50. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Responsible?!?! PGY3 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    02.24.05
    Messages:
    14,693
    Location:
    Classyville
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I'm pretty sure they are an attending and the reference comes from here:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=914669

// Share //

Style: SDN Universal