Can one apply to an MD school after being a student at a DO school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by arte9699, Oct 28, 2012.

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  1. arte9699


    Oct 28, 2012
    I don't want to offend anyone with this post or cause someone to become angry, it is simply a question that I have and would like an answer to. I am a student at an Osteopathic school, and although I like it, I don't think I love it. I respect Osteopathy, but sometimes I feel it was not the right path for me. So I am wondering if it is possible to apply to an MD school after being a med student at an Osteopathic school, and how one can go about doing that?
    Does anyone know?
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  3. Druggernaut

    Druggernaut Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2008
    You can apply, but there's no way they'd accept you. See LizzyM's (allopathic admissions person) post here:

    You'd probably have better luck transferring. I don't think you have a good enough reason, but I think I heard something about someone managing it when their only reason was not wanting to be a DO. I suspect you'd be denied by your current school and burn bridges with the people responsible for your Dean's letter, but it's a possibility. You'd probably also have to do it after the first two years, at which point you'll be past the bulk of your OPP training, so you wouldn't really be changing the amount of exposure you'd get to it. I'm guessing this has less to do with putting up with 200 or so hours of OPP and more with degree recognition and prestige and increasing your chances of matching into something competitive, am I right?

    By the way, it's osteopathic medicine, not osteopathy, and is identical to "allopathic" medicine once you're past OPP. And I assume you applied MD previously and were rejected. How will doing a year of medical school somewhere else make you a more competitive applicant now? You're already going to be a doctor, why should they give a spot to you when it could go to someone who's still trying to get into medical school?
  4. sistergldenhair

    sistergldenhair 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2012
    Southern California
    Well put Druggernaut!! Those who really believe in osteopathic medicine should be going to osteopathic schools, and if one doesn't believe they were a good fit, then that individual should not have ever accepted the slot. There are many others who are well qualified who would have jumped at the opportunity to become a physican, MD or DO.

    And by the way, if you're already in an osteopathic program, it would be more appropriate if you could dsecribe it accurately, and not by a made-up quick name.

    If you don't enjoy manipulation, then fine, many DO's go into specialties where you cannot do the manipulative medicine portion on a regular basis with your patients anyway. So after your two years, then you don't exactly need to worry about your lack of love for doing it, and THAT is the major difference between DO's and MD's in most people's views!

    Be happy for the opportunity to become a physician, wherever it is. The love of medicine and the desire to treat/heal others should be the reason for attending a school, not necessarily the curriculum and whether it says MD or DO on your diploma
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Please don't begrudge an old lady here:

    what is the problem with the term "osteopathy" in the form the OP has used?

    The degree is a "Doctor of Osteopathy", osteopathy has long been considered a synonym for osteopathic medicine and while it doesn't reflect the full scope of what an osteopathic program teaches or a DO does in practice, why does it appear that the two above posters are equating the term "osteopathy" with something negative?

    I am truly confused by this.
  6. Druggernaut

    Druggernaut Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2008
    It's pretty much what you said. "Osteopathy" is an antiquated term more in line with A.T. Still's initial teachings. In order to reflect the more modernized training in osteopathic medical schools, "osteopathic medicine" has become the preferred term, and I believe the American Osteopathic Association as gone so far as to say that DOs shouldn't be calling themselves "osteopaths" but rather "osteopathic physicians." It also serves to distinguish US DOs from those trained overseas, who don't have an equivalent scope of practice as MDs in their home countries.

    It's a subtle slight. A DO is a physician first and foremost, not some back-cracking snake oil salesman (with some embarrassing exceptions), and while it might sound oversensitive or defensive, it's a more accurate descriptor.
  7. notamember82

    notamember82 2+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    I would argue the term allopathy may also be derisive.
  8. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Thank you for the clarification.
  9. Abby_Normal

    Abby_Normal 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    To my understanding, the main difference between MD and DO schools is that DO schools include OMM in the curriculum and MD schools don't. I think you need to take a closer look at why you're unhappy at your school. It's true that not every school is an ideal fit for everyone, but that shouldn't be framed as a DO vs. MD issue. First of all, it really isn't, and second of all, it won't play well if you do decide to transfer.
  10. Medstudent1968


    May 22, 2012
    I disagree. If it works, shouldn't the skeptical students minds be changed by the evidence, even if if it's only in the patients that they see and treat?

    The system ends up producing plenty of great D.O. docs but I'd much rather see a pragmatic D.O. (the majority) as a patient than a "true believer". Some things should only be written by George Lucas and taken seriously in that context. Today let's palpate the immovable skull and feeleth the force moveth throughout the meridians. Oh, you didn't feel it? Then you're not believing hard enough.

    I guess that's what yoda meant when he said "There is no try, only D.O..." (I kid)
  11. docnotsopc

    docnotsopc 5+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Someone a year ahead of me applied to MD schools while in their first year of DO school. They did not tell the MD schools they were in DO school and eventually got accepted into an MD school. He ended up dropping out of DO school for "personal reasons" and that was the end of that.

    Maybe try that out.
    1) MD schools will not know. Its not like when they get an applicant they check every DO school
    2) The DO school wont know, unless you have to get a deans letter by telling the MD schools that you are in med school
  12. viper930

    viper930 Resident 5+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    I believe something similar happened with a Caribbean medical student who applied to my medical school this year. He was accepted as a first year who took a year off after college but in fact had already gone through first year at Ross or SGU or something. The only reason people know is because a friend of one of the M1's, who still attends the Caribbean school, was visiting one weekend and recognized him, lol.

    "Success" stories like this aside, though. It seems like a bad idea to lie about where you've been.
  13. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar* 10+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    heh u gotta be kidding me... Sounds like that person could be in huge trouble if found out.
  14. Albicans

    Albicans 2+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    On a different note does anyone know how one can go about transferring from a DO school to an MD school? I know there's a process to do it after the second year and after having taken boards. I know a number of schools do allow transfers especially Drexel and George Washington. I remember reading somewhere that one person had successfully transferred to George Washington after having done very well in his DO school and publishing top-notch research. I specifically remember that this person did not have any other extenuating circumstances and just really wanted the MD.

    What I'm wondering is how would I hypothetically go and ask my dean to submit a letter approving the transfer as well as obtain letters of recommendation from basic science professors that would also vouch for my transfer? Both of these letters and recommendations are requirements for transferring to George Washington or Drexel. If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it!
  15. Shinken

    Shinken Family Medicine 10+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Also, for future reference, nowadays the degree is actually "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine". The diplomas no longer say Doctor of Osteopathy, for the reasons Druggernaut stated, among others.

    To the OP, in the end it doesn't matter, you'll be a "doctor" either way. Also, the AOA and the ACGME are working together to unify the graduate medical education systems of both DO and MD training. By the time you graduate, it's likely irrelevant whether you're a DO or MD, your training will be ACGME-certified, and in the end, your medical school is worth little compared to your GME training.
  16. Darkskies

    Darkskies 7+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2008
  17. evilbooyaa

    evilbooyaa 5+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    While Drexel does have transfer students, I have not heard of any of them being previously DO students. The ones that have transferred here have done so (or at least I've been told) to be closer to their significant other. How true that is, I don't know, but I've only met 2 transfers (at least in my year) There may be more however, because there were exams in 2nd year I went into that had people I did not recognize.
  18. streampaw

    streampaw Banned Banned Account on Hold

    Sep 19, 2013
    Unfortunately, OHSU does not have an early decision program. That's why I was asking on this forum, otherwise I'd just apply early decision
  19. SeminoleVesicle

    SeminoleVesicle MS4 5+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Same circumstance at my school. It's doable.
  20. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    It's doable. Climbing Mt. Everest without an oxygen tank is also doable.
  21. darklabel

    darklabel MS4 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    I know this is an old thread and I am only a premed but wouldn't the financial aid office find out? Unless he paid for DO school cash, the Financial Aid office of the MD school would know where all previous loans/awards and such have been disbursed.
  22. Fox800

    Fox800 That drug that starts with "d"... 10+ Year Member

    Just looking at their transfer requirements, it looks like you can only transfer from an LCME-accredited (allopathic) medical school.
  23. LakeDr

    LakeDr MS1

    Aug 5, 2017
    I'm not too sure that the single accreditation system will level the playing field evenly or at least right away. You can observe the amount of Residencies and the type that the AOA has across the nation. There are not that many sub-specialties compared to the ACGME and I unfortunately believe that the historically ACGME residencies at alot of places will be biased against the DO who scored a 250+ compared to say the MD who maybe scored ~235. I think it's silly that this bias remains especially the caliber of students DO schools have now compared to 10+ years ago. Now that ~1/4 of all med students are enrolled in DO school, hopefully this increasing presence will help to normalize the presence of DOs and DOs interviewing at various institutions. To the OP, I think its reasonable to have the desire to go MD after becoming more educated about DO schools and the synthesis of opinions on SDN; however, I would recommend to be the absolute most competitive applicant you can be and take both exams and shoot for that 250+ step 1. If you feel like you can pull it off or have a good reason and transfer to an MD school I say go for it, but at the same time there is nothing wrong with being a DO. Just be sure to give yourself the same opportunities to be a spectacular applicant, and you can call yourself Doctor in almost any specialty. Best Wishes!
  24. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust! 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2012
    The unification I believe they are referring to is the one that failed during that time in 2012/2013 (someone could correct me). The increased presence will help, but doesn't change the fact that DO schools are lacking the resource MD students have (ex. more research opportunities, affiliated residencies, more standardized clinical education, greater funding etc.). Changing the mentioned aspects would help consideration of DOs for competitive programs.
  25. hamstergang

    hamstergang may or may not contain hamsters 5+ Year Member

    May 6, 2012
    The OP is from almost 5 years ago, and he hasn't returned to SDN since making this thread.
    LakeDr and IslandStyle808 like this.
  26. DO2015CA

    DO2015CA 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Someone wasted my time with a resurrection

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