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A few questions regarding D.O. schools and admissions.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by xnfs93hy, 05.13.14.

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  1. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I have some questions regarding osteopathic schools and admissions:

    How many D.O. schools are there in the United States?
    Do you need an LoR from a D.O. physician to put on AACOMAS?
    Is it wise to first shadow a primary care physician for a while, before you start branching out to other specialties?
    Do osteopathic students match well into residencies such as surgery?
    Do you only have to shadow D.O.'s or can you shadow M.D.'s as well?

    I'm interested in applying D.O. only. Right now, my interests are in Psychiatry, Neurology, and Surgery.
     
    Last edited: 05.14.14
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  3. Lost Vagus

    Lost Vagus 2+ Year Member

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    For someone that has over 2,000 posts, I cant tell if you are trolling or not. But, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    I believe there are 34 DO schools http://www.aacom.org/about/colleges/Pages/default.aspx
    Some schools require a DO letter, others don't. It's a good idea to get one if you can. Also, you don't put letters of rec on AACOMAS like you would on the MD app, you will have to use a letter of rec service like interfolio or you will need to have your university send them directly to each school (I highly recommend interfolio).
    Yes, DO students match well into residencies, surgery included. It's a little more difficult to match a competitive residency as a DO student but it is becoming easier with the recent merger
    You don't need to shadow a DO
     
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  4. TXKnight

    TXKnight Better Known as TXK 5+ Year Member

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    Download and read this (http://www.aacom.org/resources/bookstore/cib/Pages/default.aspx), it will answer most of your questions. If you have more questions unanswered, read these forums, they are gold. Also the answer to one of your questions regarding matching and surgery is located like five threads below this one (as of right now) so, use the search function. Good luck.
     
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  5. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    Thank you for the information @Lost Vagus. No, I am not trolling. I am just not familiar with D.O. admissions at all. I already have an interfolio set up.
     
  6. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    Thank you for the resource, @TXKnight. I'll download and print it out for future reference. Again, I'm new to the Osteopathic forums. I've changed my mind from applying MD to applying strictly DO.
     
  7. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    You can look up the actual number on AACOM's website, it is somewhere between 25 and 35, I cant remember.

    You do not need a LOR from a DO, but it depends on the school, some do require it, others highly recommend it. It definitely helps... Also you dont upload your letters onto AACOMAS like you do with AMCAS. You can use interfolio or something instead (they work hand in hand with AACOMAS).

    Shadow whatever interests you, but yes many DO schools have their mission as primary care, so I imagine it would not hurt having primary care shadowing experience.

    This question will forever be debated and no one actually has a clue with the recent GME merger. But in the past it has been harder to get into surgical specialties except maybe Ortho which the AOA has a decent bit of spots for. Typically it is hard to get into surgery if you are an MD too though, you have to be a solid applicant either way.

    Both are physicians, they will appreciate that you have spent time with physicians and that you know about the job that you are signing up for. But obviously bonus to shadowing DO seeing as you would be applying to become a DO.... think hard on that one...

    Psych and Neuro are very very attainable as a DO. Surgery, it depends on the specialty and it depends on what the future holds with this whole GME merger...


    You can 100% take this next part with a grain of salt...
    Not to pry too hard, but it feels like you are checking boxes instead of actually being interested in becoming a DO. I dont know why, but it is coming off that way, but i could totally be wrong. Either reality check yourself and pick another path, or understand some more on the whole DO stuff, or get better at hiding what appears to be a disinterest in being a DO/ DO being an obvious second choice (it rubs me the wrong way at least).

    EDIT: I read the previous posts that were sent while I was typing this. But I am still going to keep it just because I still feel that way haha...
     
  8. TXKnight

    TXKnight Better Known as TXK 5+ Year Member

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    xnfs93hy likes this.
  9. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I apologize if I'm coming off as a troll or something or just ticking boxes. Again, I really don't have much of an idea of how the application process works, so that might have come off to you the wrong way. I actually do want to go the DO route. Not as a second choice, but as a first choice.
     
  10. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Hey its all good, you applying this cycle? What are your stats?
     
  11. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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  12. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I'll be applying in a few years. I'm a rising sophomore, currently. Right now, I'm holding steady at 3.8 cumulative and 3.8 science. I've done about half of the pre-requisites so far. I volunteer in the ED, too. I'm lacking on the research and EC front, but I still have plenty of time to beef up those areas of my app. I'm actually shadowing a Primary Care physician next week. He's a D.O. Definitely looking forward to it!
     
  13. TXKnight

    TXKnight Better Known as TXK 5+ Year Member

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    For DO, having done research is gravy and can't hurt, but nothing to worry too much about. Do it because you want too, if you don't, then don't worry.
     
  14. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Oh jeeze yea you have so much time to get stuff in order. DO schools are similar to MD schools in that they do require certain stats to get in, and those stats are definitely rising. Either way, your grades look really good, solid job. Overall it seems that DO schools appreciate life experience and clinical exposure over research and other cookie cutter ECs. Definitely keep shadowing in any field that you are interested in. Maybe think about becoming a scribe or something, that gives you super great exposure to the medical field (I would argue better than CNA or EMT). Otherwise, just do what you do and whatever makes you happy, just do it passionately. Keep up the grades and all that and in a couple years you will be golden.
     
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  15. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    exactly
     
  16. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    Research is one of my big interests. I'm not going to do it to check off boxes. Even if it's not really required by D.O. schools, I still want to do it. It's something I'm really passionate about. If I find that I become very involved, I may consider DO/PhD programs. That's a ways away, though. Right now, I just want to get a feel for the D.O. application process, how medical school is and just, in general, what I can expect going forward.
     
  17. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Also I would definitely suggest shadowing DOs and MDs. Really get a feel for both. You will likely see that 90% of the way they practice medicine is very similar. There are some interesting quirks in some of the DOs I have spent time with and I would not have seen it had I not shadowed for a while. Also if you are interested, try finding a DO that actually practices OMM, since this is the only real tangible difference between DOs and MDs nowadays. Not all DOs use OMM though. You could find that you are definitely interested in pursuing the field, or it could be a major turn off.
     
  18. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is OMM?
     
  19. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Good stuff to look at:
    http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/about/leadership/Pages/tenets-of-osteopathic-medicine.aspx
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteopathic_manipulative_medicine

    This is where you will find the difference in DOs and MDs. Most physicians (DO or MD) will be exactly the same. I shadowed a surgeon (Orthopedic DO) once and someone asked if he could do OMT on him and he was like..... *blink blink* "I am a surgeon, I dont do that...." So with the DO route you have the option of basically graduating and practicing exactly like MDs, or you have the option to use OMT as an adjunct to other treatments and therapies. It is definitely a good idea to do some research and get some shadowing experience into both the MD and DO routes. Keep your options open for sure. You wont know which one is for you until you experience them (and get your MCAT score back - I joke, but sort of not joking haha)
     
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  20. TXKnight

    TXKnight Better Known as TXK 5+ Year Member

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    Osteopathic manipulative medicine
     
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  21. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Wikipedia is your friend. Do your homework
    How many D.O. schools are there in the United States?


    No, but some schools require it.
    Do you need an LoR from a D.O. physician to put on AACOMAS?

    Doesn't matter
    Is it wise to first shadow a primary care physician for a while, before you start branching out to other specialties?

    Yes.
    Do osteopathic students match well into residencies such surgery?

    DO or MD, doesn't matter. It will always help if you can shadow a DO, though. I especially recommend it if you live in a DO-rich area, like the mid-west.
    Do you only have to shadow D.O.'s or can you shadow M.D.'s as well?
     
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  22. Elevencents

    Elevencents 5+ Year Member

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    Why is DO your first choice when you don't even know what OMM is? Legitimately curious as to your reasoning.
     
  23. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I'm new to the D.O. admissions process. DO is my first choice because it seems to be more patient-focused. Beyond that, I don't know much. That's why I asked what OMM is.
     
  24. yanks26dmb

    yanks26dmb 7+ Year Member

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    Genuine curiosity here..

    What is it about do that makes it more patient focused than md?
     
  25. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I just find that D.O.s tend to take a more holistic approach, when it comes to patient care. They focus more on the person as a whole.
     
  26. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I can tell you right now, you say that and you will come off as very naive and inexperienced... I remember there was a thread around here where people swapped interview stories and like several people said that they got very noticeable "grimaces" from adcoms when they answered questions that way...

    I would say if you have extensive shadowing and clinical experiences and you have examples from patient encounters with MDs and then DOs that could back this claim up with then only then can you say stuff like that. Otherwise you are riding the propaganda gravy train that will lead you nowhere. Sure, do DOs try and be holistic? Of course. Do they try and focus on all aspects of the patient? Absolutely. Do most quality trained MDs do the same thing? Yes, they focus on the patient in order to help the patient.

    The differences between MD and DO at this juncture in time is: OMM, focus on rural care, focus on primary care, and preventative medicine - that is about all that I have seen and heard at least.

    All I am suggesting is to continue gaining experience, it will make you a stronger applicant and more knowledgeable care provider one day.
     
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  27. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    It sounds like I will have to shadow more D.O.s and M.D.s to get a feel for both areas of medicine. Thanks for the advice @Awesome Sauceome. The experience I've had with my primary care physician (a D.O.) is that he tends to take a more holistic approach, while my former primary care physician (an M.D.) did not. This is the only real example I can give. I'm sure that M.D.s practice holistic medicine, too.
     
  28. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I mean thats solid then, so long as you can back it up and explain what you mean by holistic, again with examples. The word "holistic" is a big buzzword that a many people (not saying you) toss around and think that if they mention the word holistic during an interview then they "totally get" osteopathic medicine and will get in. So its not that DOs dont practice holistic medicine, its just whenever DOs practice any kind of good medicine or treat their patients well, a lot of pre-meds will say "oh thats holistic since a DO did it." Just want to make sure you dont fall into that mindset. In the end it could have easily just been that your DO physician is a great doc while your MD is not so great or whatever. The quality does not necessarily equate to the letters behind their name. The big differences (that the schools push) are the 4 qualities stated in my last post.
     
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  29. gocougs339

    gocougs339

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    If you're really interested, I recommend shadowing a primary care DO. You'll probably get to OMM on patients and you can ask the physician all about DO. You'll have better answers for the "Why DO?" question that you'll be asked during interviews. Also you can get a letter of rec from a DO, which is strongly recommended by most schools (only a few require it, but it's definitely worth getting anyways).
     
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  30. yanks26dmb

    yanks26dmb 7+ Year Member

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    Agreed. I suppose I just don't see how this makes it more patient focused.

    ...just trying to help you formulate a genuine and non cookie cutter answer to "why do"...
     
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