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Board certification for DOs

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by UHS2002, May 27, 2001.

  1. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    Someone recently told me that there are some allopathic specialty board which will not grant board certification to DOs who have finished an MD residency. For instance, you do a surgery residency at an allopathic program, but the allopathic specialty board will not grant you board certification because you are a DO. By the same token, the osteopathic surgery board will not grant you board certification because you did not do an AOA approved residency. Bottom libe, you are not board certifiable.

    Anybody knows if this is a rumor or if it is true? If it is true, are there other specialties with the same problem? I know for sure that this is not the case with FP or IM, but what about other specialty boards?
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  3. Lee

    Lee Sleestack Staff Member Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 1999
    Board certification is not a factor of your degree. It has to do with where you did your internship and residency.

    If you do an ACGME residency, then you'll be board certified by the allopathic board for that specialty. If you do an AOA residency, then you'll be board certified by the corresponding osteopathic board.

    There are some things to watch-out for however. Some allopathic boards (neurology for instance) will not allow a DO to apply for board-certification if they did an osteopathic internship and then an ACGME residency -- they need to do all of their training in an ACGME program. In this case, the DO will need to apply to the osteopathic board for their specialty.

    However, it usually doesn't matter if a DO is allopathic or osteopathic board certified. Insurance companies and hospitals only care that they have a board certification. The only time it matters is in academics -- usually an osteopathic board-certified physician cannot be a director of an ACGME program, and an allopathic board-certified physician cannot be a director of an AOA program.
  4. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire 10+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2000
    From what I know, what you heard was only rumor. However, depending on the specialty board, there may be some rules that you'll need to be aware of. For example, in neurology, if one does an osteopathic internship and an allopathic neuro residency, they can only become board certified by the DO board. If one does both an allopathic internship and residency they can sit for only the allopathic boards. I've heard that most other specialty boards are less stringent, but you'll need to contact them to know for sure.

    Also, from what I've been told, it doesn't really matter which board certifies you as long as you are BC, however, it may matter to your residency program. My program made it a point of telling me that they preferred I do an allopathic internship so that I could sit for the allopathic boards. I'm still not sure why this was an issue (I matched to a very DO friendly program), but because it was my program of choice, I agreed to comply. Hope this helps.
  5. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire 10+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2000
    sorry to post duplicate info...Dr. Burnett and I were posting at the same time.
  6. Kiki

    Kiki Junior Member

    May 30, 2001

    Thanks for the info. I had no idea such was the case. On somewhat of a tangent,I, too, am considering Neuro. If you don't mind divulging, to which program did you match? Where else did you interview? Why neuro?
  7. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire 10+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2000

    I like to maintain my anonymity, so I'd prefer not to divulge my program, however, I can answer your other questions. Currently, neuro is not an especially competitive field so I only accepted 6 interviews...including 2 top 25 programs. Neuro is becoming more popular, but I doubt it'll ever be a really competitive area, so don't stress too much (neurosurg is an entirely different story). Anyway, I wanted to get the inside scoop on a few programs (I was a little obsessive about ending up in a benign program, close to home) so I arranged elective time at my top 3 choices. Boy, did that help! Not only did it give me an edge, but it really helped me realize what was and wasn't important in a training program! Now, what is and isn't important will vary somewhat from person to person, but for me, my priorities (after location) were, 1. receiving great training in a BENIGN setting, 2. board pass rates, 3. fellowship opportunities and 4. work load/weekly schedule (days off). I wasn't obsessed with being in a top 25 program (some of them are REALLY sacrifice happiness for prestige). In the end I was able to find it ALL, so it is possible, but you'll have to determine for yourself what is and isn't important, then try to use elective time to help you narrow your choices.

    As for "why neuro"? It's kind of a weird story, but here goes. I have, for a long time, been interested in pain management. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my freshman neuro course, I never really considered it as a specialty choice...not sure why...just assumed I'd end up in anesthesiology. That all changed during my 3rd year rotations. To my surprise, I HATED my anesthesiology rotation...knew on the FIRST day that I wouldn't be going into that field! At that point I felt pretty lost and didn't know what I wanted. A couple of months later I did a neuro rotation...absolutely LOVED it...still not sure why. Anyway, I soon found out that I could pursue PM as a neurologist and that sealed the deal! However, looking back, it seems like I just wasn't paying attention to my interests. I'd done really well in my freshman neuro course and on SEVERAL occasions during the 2nd yr (path and micro courses), ended up choosing neuro conditions as topics for case studies and reports. Just goes to show you that you should pay attention to what you find interesting and avoid tunnel vision. Hope this helps :D .

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