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Apply DO in 2018 or Reapply MD 2019??

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eaglebaseball4

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I am currently applying in the MD cycle and debating if I want to apply DO also. I am not against DO or the DO philosophy, but I have NO CLUE what specialty I want to specialize in and I do not want to limit my options. My stats are cGPA 3.80, sGPA 3.78, MCAT 507 with all sections above 125 and B/B 129. I would say I have slightly above average EC's and I am an ORM. Georgia is my state of residency, so Mercer (MD) and MCG (MD) are very in state friendly. Assuming the worst and I do not get in to MD this cycle, should I also apply DO or would it be best to reapply MD? I am already currently taking a gap year if that makes a difference. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
 

ThoracicGuy

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How many schools did you apply to in this cycle? Are they ones you were competitive for based on stats? If this your first cycle? Do you have any interviews yet?

I would probably reassess your application list and apply again next year before moving straight to DO this year. Your GPA is good, though the MCAT is a bit low. It shouldn't be too low to keep you out somewhere, though.
 
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Goro

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I am currently applying in the MD cycle and debating if I want to apply DO also. I am not against DO or the DO philosophy, but I have NO CLUE what specialty I want to specialize in and I do not want to limit my options. My stats are cGPA 3.80, sGPA 3.78, MCAT 507 with all sections above 125 and B/B 129. I would say I have slightly above average EC's and I am an ORM. Georgia is my state of residency, so Mercer (MD) and MCG (MD) are very in state friendly. Assuming the worst and I do not get in to MD this cycle, should I also apply DO or would it be best to reapply MD? I am already currently taking a gap year if that makes a difference. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
With a 507, even in the IS friendly state of GA, you need DO schools on your list. Suppose you bomb both of those interviews at Mercer and MCG?
Start list with all three VCOMs, LMU, ACOM, both PCOMs and CUSOM.
 
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TheRealCookieMonster

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I'm throwing some SDN bs opinion here but if I knew what I knew now (as a reapplicant, with previous interviews at multiple schools). Retake the MCAT with >515 and go MD. MD is just better... live the mission of your instate schools and focus on how to write good essays and interview well.
 
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oopsaloo

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It's not too late to add in some DO schools this cycle, since you're already applying MD anyways. Have you shadowed any DOs for a letter? Some DO schools seem to require one.
 

sab3156

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Always take a year or two off if it means getting into an MD school. Do better on your next MCAT attempt. If you do mediocre again, then come back and talk about DO schools.
 

workaholic181

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I personally think it's worth the extra year for MD. This is no knock on DO physicians, I've never worked with one who wasn't great at their job, but DO schools just don't have the infrastructure / resources most MD schools do. I interviewed at both and was accepted to both. At the end of the day you're gonna spend 4 years and 250k on your school. Go to the one that provides the most bang for your buck.
How could you know what you want to get into? What if you fall in love with ortho? It's hard to match that as a DO now, it will be harder post merger. Ultimately it's a personal choice, but I think another year is worth it to keep those options open and get the education that gives you the most opportunities to succeed. Do student sphere and irl will tell you their schools weren't great in board prep and a host of other areas. Just be pragmatic about how you can improve your app if you need to reapply
 
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CJhooper123

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I'm throwing some SDN bs opinion here but if I knew what I knew now (as a reapplicant, with previous interviews at multiple schools). Retake the MCAT with >515 and go MD. MD is just better... live the mission of your instate schools and focus on how to write good essays and interview well.

But getting a 515 isn't easy... just doesn't seem practical for everyone. Obviously depends on whether OP underperformed

I personally think it's worth the extra year for MD. This is no knock on DO physicians, I've never worked with one who wasn't great at their job, but DO schools just don't have the infrastructure / resources most MD schools do. I interviewed at both and was accepted to both. At the end of the day you're gonna spend 4 years and 250k on your school. Go to the one that provides the most bang for your buck.
How could you know what you want to get into? What if you fall in love with ortho? It's hard to match that as a DO now, it will be harder post merger. Ultimately it's a personal choice, but I think another year is worth it to keep those options open and get the education that gives you the most opportunities to succeed. Do student sphere and irl will tell you their schools weren't great in board prep and a host of other areas. Just be pragmatic about how you can improve your app if you need to reapply

This is absolutely true, but what is the probability that one is going to end up in ortho even if they went MD? Sure it's better to keep this door open, but residency PDs won't give you a chance if you don't have a medical degree.

Similar to OP, I am unsure of what specialty I want to go into. I applied MD/DO. That being said, I am probably going to end up at a DO program - I will go without hesitation.

Absolutely I am concerned that I might find an interest in a competitive specialty (e.g. derm, ortho, neurosurgery). But, only ~370 allopathic seniors matched into derm last year, ~691 in ortho, and ~200 in neurosurgery. Over 12,000 allopathic seniors matched into a specialty that is considered "DO-friendly" (IM, FM, OBGYN, Peds). Sure the merger might shake things up... but I am optimistic that a DO who works their tail off can get where they want.

All in all, it's up to OP to determine what is important. If you think you will only be happy in an uber-specialty, then go MD only. If you will be ok matching into a non-uber specialty, DO is not the end of the world. Sure MD opens more doors, but any medical school acceptance (DO included) is a bird in the hand.
 
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workaholic181

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But getting a 515 isn't easy... just doesn't seem practical for everyone. Obviously depends on whether OP underperformed



This is absolutely true, but what is the probability that one is going to end up in ortho even if they went MD? Sure it's better to keep this door open, but residency PDs won't give you a chance if you don't have a medical degree.

Similar to OP, I am unsure of what specialty I want to go into. I applied MD/DO. That being said, I am probably going to end up at a DO program - I will go without hesitation.

Absolutely I am concerned that I might find an interest in a competitive specialty (e.g. derm, ortho, neurosurgery). But, only ~370 allopathic seniors matched into derm last year, ~691 in ortho, and ~200 in neurosurgery. Over 12,000 allopathic seniors matched into a specialty that is considered "DO-friendly" (IM, FM, OBGYN, Peds). Sure the merger might shake things up... but I am optimistic that a DO who works their tail off can get where they want.

All in all, it's up to OP to determine what is important. If you think you will only be happy in an uber-specialty, then go MD only. If you will be ok matching into a non-uber specialty, DO is not the end of the world. Sure MD opens more doors, but any medical school acceptance (DO included) is a bird in the hand.

I was only using ortho as an example, but since you brought up DO friendly fields like IM, peds, psych, FM, it's important to note that the match lists across DO and MD schools in residency placements for these fields varies a lot too. Compare any "top" DO program to pretty much any MD and you'll see what I'm talking about. Take IM matches from PCOM (arguably best DO) and Drexel (arguably lower tier MD) for example. These schools are like 5 miles apart and share rotation sites, yet most of PCOMs IM matches will be to community programs, and most of Drexel's will be to academic programs, and some elite schools. If you compare PCOM to a "mid tier" or elite MD it's not even close.

Going to a DO school shut doors in all fields, both in terms of prestige (which matters if you're in a fellowship pursuing field like IM, peds, etc) and geographically. It's not just "oh it's gonna be hard to match derm anyway, may as well be a DO." You can't predict what you may want to pursue, where geographically you'll want to pursue it, and what type of residency program you want. That's why IMO it's better to wait and apply x2 to MD programs IF you're younger and dont have dependents etc. Again it's a very personal decision, but too often on here and IRL people equate the difference between MD and DO career options as having a long shot at derm from MD and next to none from DO. For OP's sake I'd recommend again, comparing match lists between good DO programs and MD in "DO friendly" fields.
 
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CJhooper123

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I was only using ortho as an example, but since you brought up DO friendly fields like IM, peds, psych, FM, it's important to note that the match lists across DO and MD schools in residency placements for these fields varies a lot too. Compare any "top" DO program to pretty much any MD and you'll see what I'm talking about. Take IM matches from PCOM (arguably best DO) and Drexel (arguably lower tier MD) for example. These schools are like 5 miles apart and share rotation sites, yet most of PCOMs IM matches will be to community programs, and most of Drexel's will be to academic programs, and some elite schools. If you compare PCOM to a "mid tier" or elite MD it's not even close.

Going to a DO school shut doors in all fields, both in terms of prestige (which matters if you're in a fellowship pursuing field like IM, peds, etc) and geographically. It's not just "oh it's gonna be hard to match derm anyway, may as well be a DO." You can't predict what you may want to pursue, where geographically you'll want to pursue it, and what type of residency program you want. That's why IMO it's better to wait and apply x2 to MD programs IF you're younger and dont have dependents etc. Again it's a very personal decision, but too often on here and IRL people equate the difference between MD and DO career options as having a long shot at derm from MD and next to none from DO. For OP's sake I'd recommend again, comparing match lists between good DO programs and MD in "DO friendly" fields.

For sure. So many personal variables for OP to consider in making this decision (family, age, geographical desire)

While I agree with the fact that DO schools limit opportunities, I don't think they "shut the doors in all fields". That seems a little harsh. Sure you won't match IM at a super competitive program (maybe MGH) but that doesn't mean you can't match IM into a very solid program that will give you fellowship options.
 

workaholic181

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For sure. So many personal variables for OP to consider in making this decision (family, age, geographical desire)

While I agree with the fact that DO schools limit opportunities, I don't think they "shut the doors in all fields". That seems a little harsh. Sure you won't match IM at a super competitive program (maybe MGH) but that doesn't mean you can't match IM into a very solid program that will give you fellowship options.

I said it shuts doors in all fields, you added the "the" which changes the way that reads lol. Being a DO does shut doors in all fields. Of course you can match into solid programs that will give you fellowship options as a DO. I actually think the merger will help in this regard. But it is much easier to from an MD institution. And it is much easier to match into a residency you want, in a program you want, in an area you want from an MD program. Again, compare the match lists from PCOM, CCOM, KCU, etc to any MD and you'll see what I'm referring to. I dont think it's fair, and again I have worked with so many outstanding DOs that I'm aware that once you've matched no one will care about your initials, but it's important to go into the DO application with open eyes about how it may limit your choices. So cycling back to OP, who has a 3.8 and slightly lower than MD average MCAT and is in their gap year, seems to make sense to apply another year MD if they're not successful. I'd be willing to bet they will be though.
 
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