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1 yr. Master's or DO or MD or...

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Gear, Mar 30, 2001.

  1. Gear

    Gear Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Ok, here's a logic puzzle to test you all. I'm a slightly over age 40 applicant. I applied to a DO program, got accepted, and applied to a few MD programs and am on "Hold" at one, and waiting to hear from 2 others. I got my AMCAS and AACOMAS apps. in late November, so am quite late in the cycle - this may have really hurt me with the MD programs. I have a real interest in research and would prefer an MD program. I take the DO route since they tend to be more 'older student friendly' and it's a sure thing right now, or do I give up the DO acceptance, take a risk and do the Georgetown 1 yr. Master's and reapply in early June to be one of the first in line for MD programs. My concern is that I'll end up with nothing but the Master's as the MD programs will think I'm too old. BTW, I have a >3.5 science and overall GPA and 29 MCAT. I'd especially like to hear form any older student and reapplicants. Thanks to all for your help and best of luck with your plans!
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  3. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer 10+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2001
    I say don't give up a sure thing. If you are in the DO school thank your lucky stars and have a great time.

    4th year med student at MCV/VCU in Virginia. Matched to Pathology at MCV.
  4. Catherine

    Catherine Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2000
    I was an older applicant. GPA 3.7 MCAT 30. I felt that I needed a higher MCAT score to get early MD acceptances.

    I applied to 12 MD schools, interviewed at 5. Applied to 1 DO school. I had 1 MD (MCW) and 1 DO acceptance (CCOM). I went DO because it was local (Chicago), and it meant I didn't have to move house and my kids school. As an older applicant I felt that the MD/DO issue wasn't that much of a factor. Also, I applied early, but that makes no difference if your stats are below par. All my MD interviews were Feb onwards.

    I personally feel that you'd be better off retaking the MCAT and improving your score than doing the MS.

    Why not take the DO offer. If the MD offer comes in then start there, otherwise start at the DO school. While you're in DO school you can still apply to MD schools for the next year. If you get in you're no worse off than if you'd taken the MS. No doubt I'll get some grief for making such a suggestion. But, at the end of my first year 2 or 3 people left to go to MD school. I think they had to start from year 1.

    If your heart is set on being a doctor, then take the DO offer. Even if you have doubts about the whole MD/DO thing - just focus on your final goal and treat OMM as just another class.

    Remember, luck is where opportunity meets preparation.

    [This message has been edited by Catherine (edited March 31, 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Catherine (edited March 31, 2001).]
  5. Go with the DO school for now. If you don't get into the MD school next year, there's no guarantee that you will get into the DO school the second time around.

    You can do research with a DO degree. If you are really interested in research, you might want to see if your school offers a DO/PhD program. Some residencies I looked at also offered a PhD during residency. Good luck.
  6. BigBill

    BigBill Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2000
    Virginia Beach, Va, usa
    " A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" Remember that time tested saying. Also the masters and retake of the MCAT sounds like a slippery slope. Take a step back and realize that for one to happen then the other has to happen. Sounds a little to good to be true. Stick with DO then eep after MD. Hope this helps.

  7. Hippocrates

    Hippocrates Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2000
    Columbia, MD, U.S.A
    Go D.O. and why not? You want to be a physician right? You like research? Well both MD and DO schools have the same basic science courses except for OMM courses which in my opinion will further help you diagnose your patients. I know for a fact that CCOM offers a D.O./Ph.D. track. The bottom line: if you have the will and energy to become a physician and would like to conduct research, then going D.O. will allow you to do so. It's all up to you. You got accepted to a medical school already, why wait another year and take some masters courses? It just does not make any sense to me. Best of luck with your choice.
  8. Giving up a sure thing is dangerous. You have no way of knowing whether you will do better on the MCAT or get into an allopathic program.

    If your goal is to be a physician, an osteopathic medical school will make you into a fine one. Having an interest in research is no reason to prefer an allopathic program. If you are still interested in a more research oriented career after medical school, then consider applying to allopathic university residency programs which will provide you with top notch resources. I am not familiar with osteopathic residencies but surely there are some which would also indulge you in your research desire.

    Believe me, the MD vs DO vs IMG thingy is a PRE-MED issue; no one cares at more advanced levels. Stick with the DO acceptance and get going - you're only getting older.

    Best of luck to you.
  9. smme

    smme Junior Member

    Oct 30, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with the other posters: go to the DO school. First of all, if you really want to be a physician, DO or MD after your name makes no difference. Secondly, that Masters program at Georgetown is a joke. Have you thought about the monetary implications? Why spend $20-30,000 for a useless degree when you are going to be spending $40,000 each year of medical school. The program doesn't gaurantee admissions so you are basically wasting that money. Also, there is a cap on the amount of money that can be borrowed from the government so you may be hurting yourself as far as future borrowing. Thirdly, aren't you anxious to move on with your life and begin school? I'm an older student myself and I can't wait to begin my new career. Be thankful you have the chance to realize your dream. Best of luck!!!
  10. Amadeus

    Amadeus Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    Don't give it a second thought. I was in the same position as you. I decided to go to a DO school, and it was one of the smartest decisions I've made. Unless you're planning to get into an ultra-competitive residency where you need a lot of connections (trust me it's more about networking than what you know) then you'd be in good shape to go DO. Like I tell everyone, in the end what matters is what residency program you match into and CCOM is one of the DO schools that has great match results.
  11. star23

    star23 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    why don't you just send in your deposit for the DO school now and wait to hear from the MD schools? That way if you get into a MD school you can just forfeit your DO deposit. But if you don't get into a MD school at least you still have an acceptance.
  12. ana


    Gear, obviously you will do whatever you want to regardless of what anyone says in this thread. However, if you are so against getting an Osteopathic degree, then perhaps you should not (but why did you apply to begin with?). I say this because there are disadvantages to both you AND the osteopathic community for you to get a DO degree when you do not really want one.

    The disadvantages to you as I see it:
    I disagree somewhat with Kimberli Cox (Wow, did I really say that? Usually, K.C. blows me away with the strength of her advice...) somewhat on the DO vs. MD vs. IMG thing being primarily a premed issue. It comes up when you apply for residency, and it is harder for DOs to get into certain residencies at certain institutions (on the whole they do better than IMGs, though). (Please people, do not flame me for being honest. I am very pro-DO, but I am trying to present a balanced picture). Also, if you are interested in a research oriented career, then this too poses a problem since DO schools are not known as research academic powerhouses. Rather, they are more clinically oriented (if there is a research oriented DO institution out there, I am sure someone will let us know). I am not saying you could not overcome these obstacles -- many osteopathic students do just this, but they have to work harder than the average MD student.

    The disadvantage for the osteopathic communities: They already have too many people asking about DO to MD transfers, exams to turn DO to MD degree, changing degree conferred to M.D.O., etc. They need people who will be enthusiastic and outstanding representatives of their profession -- and not people who are hankering for some other degree (who in fact would consider risking not becoming a physician at all than get a DO). It looks bad for their profession and diminishes their status.

    Now, having said all that above, let me now do a 180 and tell you what a mistake I think it is to turn down a DO school in order to reapply to MD. Your grades are fine and so are you MCATs. It's possible you could go up a few points on an MCAT retake, but you could go down too (or stay the same) and then that would look really sucky. I am sure it didn't help that you applied in November, but I don't think it hurt you as much as you think, and the outcome if you had applied earlier might not have been that different. Everyone makes a big deal about applying early (and to some extent they have a point), but as long as you got your secondaries in by Jan, you should have been OK.

    The 1 year masters degree is a waste of time -- you will spend a year spinning your wheels and I do not believe it will improve you chances significantly. In the meantime, you will be one year older (and that much more of an outlier as far as applicants go).

    I am sure that out there in DO-Land, someone keeps track of who gets into what DO school. What if they blackball you the next year you apply to DO schools because you rejected them the first time?

    If you really feel you cannot be content as an Osteopathic physician, then obviously you should turn them down (for their sake as much as yours). But if I were in your shoes, I would go to DO school and throw myself into it whole heartedly. I would find opportunities for research; if they are not present at my parent institution, then I would identify someone whose work interests me somewhere else and then do an externship/research elective there (which by the way is an excellent opportunity for you to audition for a residency position). If I were interested in highly competitive residencies, then I would make it my goal to kick butt on my board exams, work very hard during my externships, and get great letters from both allopathic and osteopathic attendings.

    OK, sorry if I was a little rough. Just trying to give my unvarnished opinion.
  13. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;) 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    In residency HELL
    Here's something to think about...for what it's worth.

    I recently went to a meeting with the admissions director of the MD school I'll be attending in the fall. Several students asked about getting a MS degree to help their sub-par gpa's. She specifically said that MANY schools frown on getting an MS "just to get into med-school" because, and I quote, "No one gets below a B in graduate school...we just don't consider it to be competitive." She recommended that students needing to boost grades, or whatever, enter a rigorous post-bacc program to show they can handle the load.

    Since you've already been accepted into a DO school, I think you'd be shooting yourself in the foot if you didn't go. In addition, we "older" students know that our age IS a factor...and at 40 you're pushing the envelope (that's not an insult, just reality).

    PS- I think it AWESOME that you have been accepted...CONGRATS :D
  14. lmthoms1

    lmthoms1 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I say go for what you want. Because it's your career which means it's something you'll be doing for the rest of your life and you need to enjoy it. If you really don't have a desire to become a DO now then you definitely wont have it in 5 years when your doing your stressful, tiring and exhaustful rounds in residency. I personally just cant wait to get to the point where I'm looking out of windows so nervously waiting on mail from medical schools. It's a blessing you were accepted to one but this is your career so I suggest you go for what you desire. ;)

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