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Curious lacking in Allopathic interest????

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by OldManDave, Feb 27, 1999.

  1. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Man, I can't believe the abyss of the allopathic pre-med area? Although I personally favor osteopathic medicine, I have also applied to allopathic schools. Sort of a Shakesperean role reversal huh?

    I still have a few, read that as 6, allopathic apps outstanding.

    Let us revitalize the allopathic input!!


    Sincerely,

    ------------------
    'Old Man Dave'

     
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  3. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member

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    What's allopathic medicine? Are M.D.s real doctors? Can they prescribe medicine and perform surgery like D.O.s?

    *big sarcastic grin*

    [​IMG]
     
  4. cliff

    cliff Senior Member

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    FUNNY ANSWER GREG (HONESTLY!) [​IMG]
     
  5. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    That was an excellent answer Greg!! Too bad we can't cut and paste this string to the TPR site...wouldn't that ruffle some panties????

    ------------------
    'Old Man Dave'

     
  6. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member

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    Most MD-minded applicants may not be aware of this site. That lack of awareless may account for the dearth of posts in allopathic forum.
     
  7. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member

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    Thank you, Mr. Spock... now get back to your scanners.

    [​IMG]

     
  8. looloo

    looloo Junior Member

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    Well, maybe there aren't any allopathic pre-meds here because they don't like being ridiculed or overanalyzed by these wonderful, compassionate and holistic osteopathic students.

    Anyways, I'm an allopathic premed. I'm from Canada but I've married into a US citizenship (no, that's not why i married her). I've applied to 3 med schools in Canada, have one guaranteed interview and am waiting for two more (hopefully). If it doesn't work out here, I'll be looking at US schools. I'm really interested in Boston U, Creighton U, UVA, Emory, Tulane, U of Vermont, Dartmouth, Rochester and NYMC.
    where have you applied to Dave? what are your stats like? what do you think about my possible choices?
     
  9. BD

    BD Member

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    LooLoo, You are neither allopathic nor osteopathic pre-med,you are just pre-med until you have been accepted somewhere.So try not to come on like some "big shot" and make sarcastic remarks about osteopathic medicine and its students.
     
  10. looloo

    looloo Junior Member

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    well, no... if i only really want to go into allopathic medicine, then i think you could classify me as an allopathic premed. i've seen numerous posts from others that state i shouldn't go to a DO school as a replacement for an MD school and i'm taking their advice. i'm only applying to MD schools and not DO schools. yes, i am a premed but i only have intentions to go into allopathic medicine. just as you could classify students who only wish to enter osteopathic schools as osteopathic premeds, i think you could classify me as an allopathic premed. it's just a further subdivision of premed.


    BTW thanx for showing me the error of my ways. i never realized that making sarcastic remarks about med students would make me a big shot. boy, you sure are right. i guess anybody who would post any kind of "panty-ruffling" answer on this thread with a *big sarcastic grin* would be a real big shot, wouldn't they?

    PS thanx for making me feel welcome, BD. i'll make sure that i come back here often.
     
  11. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    LooLoo,

    First of all, and I'll grant you it is not apparent from the thread; but Greg and myself were simply making a parody of the TPR site and the incessant malice anyone even considering DO programs is subjected to there. Please don't misconstrue our statements, there was nothing bad intended...just a little tongue in cheek humor.

    As for you choices...every single one of them is an excellent program. You would do well to attend any of them. Be aware though, UVA has pretty strong leanings to VA residents...not much hope for out-of-state applicants. And the rest, being top notch schools, their applicant pools tend to be self-selective and to receive a pretty large volume of apps. Therefore, even having strong credentials doesn't guarantee interviews/admission. However, do not let me disuade you...You'll never know until you try. I applied to a few of those schools myself under that very premise.

    Choosing allopathic vs osteopathic medicine is purely a matter of personal choice, especially here in the US. There are many implications in the context of licensure and prescriptive authority for a DO aspiring to return to Canada...but, if you desire to stay here, please don't let any rumor mill tarnish your perception of an excellent profession. I would suggest researching both MD and DO programs from an honest & open-minded perspective and choosing what you feel to be best for you. That is the best anyone can hope for.

    In closing, I ask you not to gauge the value of DOs as a whole over few smart-assed remarks or tongue in cheek humor. At least venture to the Princeton Review [review.com] page and see what DOs must endure before you pass judgement.

    Rest assured, you and your opinions are most welcome on this site at anytime! I bid you welcome LooLoo. And, if you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me directly.


    Sincerely,




    ------------------
    'Old Man Dave'

     
  12. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member

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    Why do ""Allopathic pre med students"" always ask for peoples stats???!? Ya'll go on the Prticeton site & it's full of #. Is that just a way for people to reassure themselves ? just wondering?
    --Nicolas--
    WesternU'03
     
  13. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    looloo,

    are YOU a US citizen??? If you are only a permanent resident, unless you come from a very well connected family, you may as well forget the very competitive schools, as they give strong preference to US citizens. I know of someone who was not offered an interview at a private school because this person was a permanent resident and not a citizen. Inside info, from a member of the admissions committee. So, if the private schools are biased, you can expect the state schools to be even more so. Which sounds kind of right to me, as I don't think there are many Americans at Canadian schools...

    As for UVA, I agree with Dave. I am a resident of Va and have had many dealings with UVA Med School and they give strong preference to:
    1) Residents of Va, particularly
    2) Their own pre meds
    3) The people on their prep program
    Unless you are a minority (they have an active recruitment program for minorities), and I am not talking female here, if you are none of the above, set your goals elsewhere.
    As for the other schools, with the exception of U of VT who has an extremely diverse student body, most like pre meds fresh out of undergrad, married are, well, ok but children are a minus. As Dave also pointed out, you are setting your goals on some very competitive institutions, so I am assuming you have the stats to back your application (3.5 GPA, 30's MCAT, lots of extracurriculars, particularly research). Age is also a problem for some schools. If you are indeed a US citizen, then you cannot be too young a pre med, unless you married at 20. It takes 3 years of being married to a US citizen before you can even petition for your citizenship and processing of applications is taking 1-4 years right now. So, if you married at 22-23, you must be about 26-27 right now, which is just about the cutting age for a lot of schools (non oficially, of course, but I think taking 1-2 "older students in a class of 100 or so, is really paying lip service to the concept of diversity - again U of Vt excluded).

    By the way, I applied to both osteopathic and alopathic schools (my state schools, as in state tuition is considerably cheaper). Did that make me a allosteopathic pre med????

    Happy to be a "wonderfull, compassionate and holistic osteopathic student"

     
  14. looloo

    looloo Junior Member

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    Dave and UHS2002, I am a US citizen and i am relatively young (less than 23, no kids, we married early and her dad's some kinda superhigh gov't judge who helped me get my papers really quickly so i could work there during the summer).

    As for UVA, my dad did his PhD and several post-docs at the med school (and thus, we subsequently lived there for about 9 years) so i'm hoping that they may look at me on special terms. also, we're intending to move to Va at the end of this school year and try to establish residency there, so hopefully i'll be a resident by the time i get around to applying. that's really the reason why i'm looking at UVA.

    i don't think that the schools i'm shooting for are that competitive. most of their average mcats are about 10 or so while their gpa's are only about 3.5. i realize that competition for those spots is strong, but i don't think that it's impossible to get admission. as for my stats, gpa 3.90; mcat 36Q; three summers of research; a summer of volunteering at the local hospital plus ongoing activities now.

    NickCVM, i'm asking Dave for his stats and what schools he's applying to because i'd like an idea of how other people are doing. i'm not trying to assert my superiority over anyone. i'm not competitive at all but i do like to know how other people fare in things that we have in common. BTW Dave, i forgot to ask you what schools you applied to and which ones have you heard from.

    once again,UHS2002, an allopathic premed is a loose term that i used (and apparently so does this poster board) for someone who intends to primarily become an MD. why else do you have this particular "allpathic Premed" forum? if you become a DO, fine. however, if you really only had intentions to go into an MD program but went to a DO school instead, then i think you could call yourself an allopathic premed. this label doesn't determine who or what you become, it's merely a descriptive of your intentions.

    Dave, i have researched both MD and DO fields and i have decided that i wish to become an MD because of a few factors. before i say anything, i wish to state that i have nothing against DO's but i have chosen not to go down that road for certain reasons. first, like you stated, licensure for DO's is tricky in Canada as well as many other countries and i don't want the added paperwork/grief that is entailed when trying to establish practice rights in different countries. the MD degree is a universally recognized medical degree and would be easier to negotiate with when travelling and practicing in various countries (which i fully intend to do) than the DO degree. secondly, there is still discrimination among academic/research/high-profile institutions that are traditionally allopathic medical centers. DoPhDstudent has pointed out his troubles in dealing with such centers(in fact, he even regrets going the DO route). i would like to avoid this and better my chances at gaining admission to some of the programs offered. i believe that an MD degree would help me do this.

    anyways, where have you applied? what have you heard?
     
  15. HeatherR

    HeatherR Member

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    Whoa everybody - no need to be so defensive. I'm sure none of the comments made here were meant to be malicious insults on either allopathic or osteopathic students or pre-meds. I've been to the Princeton Review site, so I understand why one may be so defensive, but why don't we try to keep this site friendly and mature.

    Looloo, many American schools consider Canadians the same as out of state Americans, so apply to whatever schools you want to and best of luck. There are many Americans studying in Canadian schools and vice versa, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    As for the osteopathic vs. allopathic decision: that is something that you must decide for yourself. Both degrees have their merits and drawbacks, and you have to decide which is right for you. Don't let anyone tell you that one is better than the other.

    I have been asking that same question about people eager to compare stats! I have never heard of such until quite recently. I don't think I told even my closest friends my "stats" - they are personal, and asking a complete stranger for their stats is actually quite rude. Besides that, GPAs and MCATs and only a small part of your application package. Knowning someone's stats doesn't tell you that much - hence the need for things like interviews and admissions committees. Just do the best you can, apply, and wait and see what happens. If you are rejected, most schools will give you reasons why and ways to improve your application for the following year. That's what I did, and I got an early acceptance the second year I applied to med school. There is certainly no rush to get in immediately. If you have what it takes and really want to study medicine you will get in eventually.

    Good luck everyone.

     
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  17. looloo

    looloo Junior Member

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    i don't really care about stats that much (i realized how empty gpa's were during my second year) but, like i've said before, i would like to know how other people are doing in things we have in common. for the most part, premeds have school and mcat in common and how they relate to their work in school and in preparation for the mcat is often something that we can talk about.

    BTW did you know that brown doesn't have an interview (for their 8year PLME program)? neither did U of Iowa for a few years. brown invites students to visit but they aren't interviewed. the admissions committee felt that they could judge acceptable candidates based on the letters of recommendation and personal statements and academics/mcat. they've done studies to see if the interview really selects better students and they found that there was no difference in student performance in any aspect of medicine. hmmm,maybe we're wasting our money on interviews...
     
  18. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member

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    *hmmm*
    Well I still don't understand the whole "stats" thing. I do care about others getting into school but as far as their stats (#) are concerned - I don't give a s...*
    Looloo, I might have missed your point - if you were just trying to find "common factors" such as Research/Volunteering/med experience - I would be most sympathetic to your intensions. However most allopathic/MD/premeds only care about a few # (from a person they know nothing about)that would pup up on the screen (if you have not visited the princeton site - please do so - you will know what I'm talking about) - then, a majority of them, wonders why they don't get in anywhere.
    It's hilarious - you find answears like "..but why did you get in, I have 36Q 3.8, you only have 33P 3.5, YOU must be a minority/Jewish/your father must be on the commity..I'm better than you ..etc
    Good evening to all
    --Nicolas--
    WesternU'03 - proud to be a future DO
    student.
     
  19. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member

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    Looloo, your perception is so naive - it puts a grin on my face. When you said those schools you listed above are not competitive because their MCATs range around 10 for each subsection and their GPAs range around 3.5, I just laughed. You will get a hard dose of reality when you actually apply. While there are those with 26 MCAT and 3.3 GPA for example who might get in for some freaky reasons or another, count them the exception than the norm. Take for example I had a decent MCAT (34), and decent GPA (3.67/4.00 with a 3.72 in science alone), double majored in biology and chemistry and tons of volunteer work and research experience. The only allopathic school that accepted me was Temple, not a very top-notch school either I would say, hence I decided to go for an in-state DO school instead. My cousin had a 4.0 from UCLA and 38 MCAT, applied to 30 something odd schools and ended up at Univ. of Alabama 4 years ago. Getting in is as much fate and luck as anything so I've concluded. Unless the competition has subsided considerably since we applied, your best bet is to apply at as many schools as possible - go only allopathic if you like - but don't set your mind on the most competitive schools out there just yet. You might end up not becoming either and MD or even a DO at all, and that'll be a real shame.
     
  20. looloo

    looloo Junior Member

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    it's just wonderful being in such a supportive and encouraging and non-condescending environment. with all this free love going around, i am amazed that there aren't droves of allopathic-minded premeds here. in fact, i'm having so much fun here, i'm going to stay away after this post because i think that i'd get to absorbed with all this positive energy flowing around.

    when i said i didn't think that those schools were that competitive, i was referring to how they compared to really competitive schools that i would have no chance in hell of getting into (eg. harvard, yale and john hopkins). the schools that i listed had average mcats of 10 and gpa's of 3.5 or so. i have a 36 mcat and a 3.9 gpa. thus, i think i'm in their range. i didn't say that the schools were going to send me bouquets and chocolates to try to get me to attend their med school. i think that i have as good as a chance as most of the other applicants and probably a bit better than the applicant who has a 26 mcat and a 3.3 gpa. in no way did i state that i thought all i had to do was sit on my ass in order to get accepted. i know full well it's a crap shoot to get into medicine. i've applied to med schools in canda before (you don't need to complete your degree before you apply), having a 4.0 average and didn't get accepted so i know it's random selection. however, i do know that if i had a 3.5 gpa, i wouldn't have got the interview or been put on the wait-list. (the average gpa for matriculants at the u of toronto was 3.9 last year and most of them had their degree already)

    you have to remember that i really don't have a state school (yet) that i can apply to. thus, my best bet is to apply to schools that have large percentages of out-of-state students. these schools typically have higher gpa's/mcats than state schools. the schools that i listed are generally this type of school but they aren't as academically competitive as the elite schools like harvard and jhu. i have a profile similar to the average matriculants of most of those schools. thus, i think i have a fighting chance. i repeat, i'm not saying and i've never said that it'll be handed to me on a silver platter but i do think i have as good a chance as anyone else.

    BTW should i really take your judgement seriously? aren't you kinda kicking yourself for not going allopathic? it's kinda funny how the person who's regretting their own personal choice can tell me how my naivete is so humorous.

    PS i would like to say good-bye to all the wonderful people i've met on this website. unfortunately, i can't spend anymore time trying to defend myself from these lovely attacks because the psychological damage is tremendously increasing my need for psychotherapy which i can't afford (does anyone know a good osteopathic psychiatrist?). i leave you with this:

    i went to a medical forum

    and posted a note out of boredom

    but i turned my back

    and all the DO's attacked

    and now i'm sure i deplore them
     
  21. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member

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    STOP I'm gone a cry!!?!
    I didn't think you were naive before your last post but man, did I change my mind..
    --Nicolas--
    WesternU'03

    PS. Good luck with your med school application process.
     
  22. BD

    BD Member

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    To LooLoo, You came to this site and posted a note stating "there aren't any allopathic pre-meds here because they don't like being ridiculed or overanalyzed by these wonderful,compassionate and holistic osteopathic students.I took your comments as they were intended; they were condescending,sarcastic and facetious at the expense of osteopathic medicine.I believe my colleagues did as well and that is why you were "attacked".Then you leave us the way you came in,with a "parting shot" by stating "now I'm sure I deplore them (D.O.s)".I guess before you came "here" you only sort of deplored us and now you're sure that you do .Your last comment, completely,supported my argument that you were being sarcastic etc.. and you act like you were the "victim" of an "attack" by the D.O.s. You got what was coming to you and you deserved it.You,particularly as a pre-med,have no right to be condescending to my profession.Now I don't say these things to "chase" you away,that is not my intention.I welcome your responses, as long as they are courteous and respectful to osteopathic medicine.
     
  23. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member

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    Let the pre-med go. Enough said. God forbids if we should say anything to offend him. Afterall, he's only here out of boredom.
     
  24. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    You folks need to lighten up! If it is possible for some anonymous post on a website to get you worked up, you need to kick back and unwind a little. That said, I have a few comments to add to this discussion, even though I am not really sure how many people will read this (this is my first time here). The notion that med school admissions is a "crap-shoot" or involves a great deal of luck is vastly inflated in the minds of America's pre-meds. Let's face it: luck is a minimal factor in the admissions process. There is no denying the fact that luck has a hand in almost all things, but schools usually make pretty informed decisions about applicants, especially from what they see. In other words, how an applicant translates his/her qualities into the dimensionally limited world of a paper application is a major question, but once the application is made, committees make quite well thought-out and rational choices. I hear horror stories daily about applicants with impressive quantitative credentials being rejected from 20 schools or something, but I earnestly believe this is urban legend. My experience, as a pre-med, college senior, convinces me of this. For one thing, students with high stats who are rejected usually have deep flaws in their application. Again, the flaws are in the application, not necessarily in the person him/herself, but they are there. I have served on admissions committees (not med school, but college) as a student rep., and we do sometimes reject students with SAT's over 1500 and GPA's close to 4.0. In these cases, the student has given us a good reason to be concerned about whether or not he/she will be a contributing member of the community (we are a small nationally-known liberal arts college). This happens in med school admissions even more frequently, as the committees have to ask themselves the question, "Will this talented person be able to become a compassionate and caring physician?" This question is asked of all applicants as an absolute pre-requisite to admissions. No honest doctor would choose to admit someone into the field whom he/she felt would not be a caring professional. For this reason, no high stats can be said to offset (at least not deeply held) convictions that the applicant will not be compassionate. I also think, though this is purely hypothetical, that students with high stats are held to an even higher standard in this respect. I have been admitted to several highly ranked allopathic schools to date, and have received no rejections so far. I do not consider myself lucky, and I am not surprised by the outcome of my applications. The fact is that the admsissions process is not a crapshoot. Given an accurate understanding of what one needs to illustrate about oneself to admissions committees, it is quite possible, in most cases, to determine whether or not one will be admitted before applying. There will always be some surprises, of course, but examples of students with 38's and 3.8's getting nixed at 20 schools are exaggerations, or else they are extreme cases of one-dimensional pre-med syndrome. I applied with a 3.8-3.9, 42, and have not had any problems getting interviews and acceptances. If the process were about luck, I would have been rejected by at least one school so far. Think about it....
     
  25. Henry

    Henry Senior Member

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    After I read all the postings, I felt sad. If a patient comes into this website and read all our argument, I wonder what will the patient think?

    MD or DO, our focus is not only on our title. In front of a dying person, does the degree matters to the patient and the family. Will the patients refuse your medical skills to save his/her life? I wonder will the patient care about that.

    I also wonder if looloo carry this kind of bias attitude to the medical schools interview, I think his chance of getting in any school is very slim.

    So forget about this looloo and learn to be a great osteopathic physician
     
  26. Pair o Docs

    Pair o Docs New Member

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    Hello all! I'm new to the board here so bear with me...

    Anyway, from what I've ascertained, DOs and MDs are essentially treated the same with respect to graduate medical education i.e. residency. What this means is that once you get into a residency program, regardless of allopathic or osteopathic orientation, it won't really matter what degree you've obtained, at least as far as admissions and matching is concerned.

    Unfortunately, I have a feeling that old habits die hard and some people still consider DOs to be somehow inferior to MDs. Gotta love propaganda, right? =P I hope in the future the fields will take note from each other in treatment strategies and theories and come up with a more unified discipline.


     
  27. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    Well, I'm not sure about the exact nature of DO discrimination, but I do wonder about the source of such opinion. I'm not trying to play devil's advocate, or to say anything too offensive to future DO's, but I question whether or not some DO discrimination may be rooted in more than just "old habits". I take it to be true, and correct me if I am wrong, that gaining admission to DO schools is quite considerably easier than MD schools. IF this is the case, then it could follow that, although the educational opportunities offered at all schools are quite similar, the students at certain schools would be better able to take advantage of such an education. Because MD schools attract and admit students who, by these objective measures, are more accomplished, might we not argue that, ON AVERAGE, these students are more talented? If so, won't they make better doctors? Now, I fully admit that this argument has enormous vagaries. For instance, I am talking about broad generalizations that are perceptible only over entire cross-sections of the medical community. Since generalizations like this cannot be properly used by an individual to pre-judge the qualities of another individual (i.e. an MD, even if what I say is true, could not say a DO was less intellectually talented merely because he was trained as a DO), I am not trying to justify anti-DO sentiments, but rather to place them on a ground more stable than mere "old-habits". I am interested to hear what you folks have to say about this. I have numerous friends who are off to med school next year, and, to be perfectly honest, all of the brighter ones are going MD. They did not consider DO, and the ones who are considering DO are not only less academically qualified, but they are less intellectually gifted. Now, I am not saying that this fact will make them worse doctors, not by any stretch of the imagination. At least one student i know who applied only DO (3.4 GPA, 26 MCAT's) is a wonderful person, will work his ass off, and will be a great doctor! There are MD students I know who are brilliant, lazy, and fairly uncompassionate who will probably not make it through med school. However, it does seem to me to be obvious that DO students, on average, have accomplished less than their MD counterparts up to this point in their lives. Am I wrong?
     
  28. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member

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    randy
    What exactly have you accomplished so far in your life that is so great? Also what are your talents?
    Please provide an answer so that I can understand your "logic", that way I could deal in a more efficient manner with other over inflated pre meds.
    Feel free to email me if you don't want to discuss this any further on this site.
    --Nicolas--
    WesternU'03

     
  29. Henry

    Henry Senior Member

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    Randy
    You are having the same miscomception towards DO. Is Grades and GPA make a student great? Is that the only parameter you are going to evaluate others?

    Bill Gates is a Harvard drop out and never have a college degree, so what do you think? I am sure Bill Gate can not get into any medical school in this country.

    DO school look at a student in a holistically fashion. Yes GPA is crucial but there are other things the based on too.

    If students going to Osteopathic school are inferior in terms of intelligent, you not see the greatness of so many DOs that are practicing great medicine out there.

    Yes, there is a trend that lot of premed students will look at MD school first. However, you have to consider how much do those students really understand about Ostopathic medicine. Most of them may not even heard about the profession before they apply.

    Just to let you know that I used to work in an organ transplant lab and I have to rotate in an ON-Call schedule for cadavar donors. Many critical judgements that I have made help to provide the best care for patients. I am certain that I am as competant as any other medical students.


    There are so many misunderstanding in this world and I hope that you can look at things in both side. Does each profession have been fairy evaluated?

    Many premed student and medical student have some prejudice towards PAs. I think it is not fair either. Are people studying in a PA program not intelligent?

    There are many situation and influence choices.

    People can change their point of view and I sincerely hope that you can too. Starting from one person to another and I hope more and more people will respect Osteopathic medicine.

    Finally, have you ever wonder why current medicine become so holistic even in allopathic medical school. Wasn't holistic medicine a component of Osteopathic medicine?
    Maybe this is a good question for you to reconsider the DO profession.
     
  30. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Ok Randy,

    I am taking up your challenge. I speak 5 languages fluently, have a MA from a school that ranks among the top 20 in the country, and I am ABD (all but dissertation) for my PhD. I am a certified aircraft mechanic and also hold a commercial pilot's license and a flight instructor license. I worked as an EMT and as a medic for several years. My grades were very good (always graduated with honors) and my MCAT, although not spectacular, was in the competitive range for many MD schools. I worked my way through college and grad school. I also worked in a research lab for several months, while in grad school.

    I think I am a fairly accomplished person. I was a member of mensa for many years, so there is nothing wrong with my "official IQ" either.

    I was not a very attractive candidate for MD schools though, because I am older (in my mid 30's - you can't accomplish everything in one afternoon) and I am married and have a small child. I guess they just thought I would not make it through med school at my "old age" and with my family responsibilities.

    Well, I am proud to say that I am a DO student, because DO schools indeed look at your accomplishments as a person and not just at your numbers (which, by the way, for most MD schools include age too, although it is an unofficial thing). I am happy with the education I am receiving, with my classmates (who, for the most part, are also a very accomplished bunch of people), and with the wonderfull and well prepared faculty at my school.

    If MD schools profess to teach their students to look at the whole patient rather than at a disease process, like DO schools have been doing from the start, they should show that by looking at the whole applicant, rather than at bunch of numbers.

    You will find just as much talent among DO students as you will find among MD students. What is the difference??? The difference is that there are so many more DO students that have shown that talent while working full time to support their families, or working their way through college (and I am not talking for pocket money either) or volunteering in foreign countries or impoverished areas here at home. I am not saying that there aren't any MD students that have done the same, I am just saying that they are the exception rather than the rule.

    The preferred MD route seem to be the kid just out of college, were he was a pre-med major, or who took a year to work on someone's else research after college. Mid 20's and single. If married, then without children and if with children, then male, with a wife at home to take care of the kids.

    From this point of view, I think that DO students, with their GPAs a fraction lower than their allopathic counterparts, have a much higher pool of accomplishments to draw from.

    'NOUGH SAID!
     
  31. Jack DOe

    Jack DOe Junior Member

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    Randy,

    Your argument is not new or original. It is the exact same argument made on pre-med forums by many pre-meds. This ground has been covered many times. Thinking that a GPA and a MCAT score(objective measures)translates to talent or being accomplished is callow.
     
  32. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    Okay! For those of you ostensibly angered by my post, please re-read it and realize that I was a) not saying DO's would be less competent physicians and was b) asking for other opinions and experiences in order to base my own opinions on more than my own limited involvement with the DO community. Your posts are helpful and interesting. UHS2002- I am sure that with your list of accomplishment, you would have gained admission to an MD school if that had been a goal of yours. I am not saying I doubt your story -not at all- but if you had applied, or re-applied to more schools, and made it very clear to them that you were set on and committed to medicine, I am sure some school would have seen the light. Why did you decide to study for a DO? My position is really not a statement of fact or even opinion...it is more of a question or observation. Simply put, I feel it is clear that, PRIOR to med school and ON AVERAGE (UHS2002 may be a notable exception), DO students are a less impressive bunch academically. This is based in part on the people I know, but more so on the facts at hand: GPA's, scores, and the kinds of colleges students are matriculating from. I don't know what this means, but I think two things: this fact is the source of DO discrimination (not to say that I think there is a reason for DO discrim., but this is the reason some others might put forth), and I do not know why a student, given this discrim. and the possibility of being more limited career-wise, would choose DO over MD. I totally agree DO's receive a comparable education, but because of the discrim. alone, why choose DO intead? That's all I'm saying/asking. Nick: I'm not sure how to answer your question. I think the frustration you are directing towards me is a result of misunderstanding my previous post. I do not mean to say that I am better than anyone else, or that I will make a better physician (at least not merely because of the MD/DO difference). Unlike UHS2002, my accomplishments are pretty limited to the academic shpere. I don't mean to challenge anyone else to compare themselves to me or anything like that. BUT, I do believe MD students, partially BECAUSE of the prejudice against DO students, are overall more academically talented or, at the very least, decorated, and that this is the source of continued anti-DO sentiment in the medical community. The fact is that most ot the best pre-meds choose MD over DO, so most of the best meds have received an MD education. There are, of course, exceptions everywhere you look. This is true only ON AVERAGE. At least, this opinion is what drives the continued lack of respect and recognition for the DO in America.
     
  33. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member

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    Randy brought up a critical point with which I tend to agree. Since the educational provisions for medical schools are virtually identical at MD and DO institutions, it's a moot point to try to argue which type will produce better physicians in regards to competency and compassion. On the surface, realize that medical school matriculation, in the mind of the general public, is almost a holy, sacred, deified event, and those who succeed to gain admission to a more selective institution is deemed more worthy of being a doctor than, say, one who gains admission to a less selective school. Clearly, even within the allopathic community, John Hopkins' reputation carries more weight than some backwood MD medical school's, but both schools will ultimately graduate some brilliant doctors and some not so brilliant. How will the lay public know the who make and who do not make good doctors? The answer is most often the public is too dumbfounded by godlike physicians to objectively evaluate each physician's merits and flaws. The only way that they have to compare physicians is to rely on the admission stats of the schools to arrive at some very crude and inaccurate judgement. That's where the DO delimma comes in to play. As a DO student, I admit that more often than not, a student with less than stellar academic background will have a better chance at gaining admission to a DO school than an MD school. How the admission committee can see through the obvious flaws in the stats to select these individuals because of their other potentials, I don't know. But ultimately they turn out to be successful students and very knowledgable physicians. However, by "seeing past the number", the DO schools open themselves up for groundless attacks by people such as Randy. The only way to really reverse this unfortunate trend is to raise the standards of admission to DO schools to a higher level than those implemented at MD schools. I'm quite sure there are many current DO students with very good GPA and MCAT that apply only to DO schools. Take those students only and you artificially raise the reputation of DO schools, but by doing this, you're destroying the dreams of too many students who would otherwise become great compassionate physicians if only given a chance. Now, do I really care what people like Randy think? Definitively not. I don't think we should or could morally sacrifice our patients' welfare to please Looloo or Randy or Jack MD, Joe MD, and Jane pre-med. Let's remember why we choose medicine in the first place. It's a field intertwined with human components that cannot be adequately mapped out by mere hard numbers.
     
  34. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member

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    By the way Randy, I failed to answer questions in your post regarding why some DO students choose the DO route over the MD route, given the RESIDUAL discrimination in the medical community (mainly from hardliner old farts) against DOs. No matter what you think Randy, you're still just a pre-med with very distorted ideas of what actually goes on in the hospitals, and so your perception is naive and typical of a pre-med's (and yes I had the same perception when I was a pre-med applying to both DO and MD schools). I'm happy to report I have yet to encounter overt discrimination from MDs with whom I came in contact. But to answer your question, some of us decide to attend DO schools for academic reasons (less than perfect stats), financial reasons (in-state reasonably priced DO school vs. out-of-state pricey MD school), human reason (DO holism vs. MD reductionism - btw, this I don't believe to be real), or interest in OMT. Like it or not, ON AVERAGE, a DO is better trained than an MD (I have nothing against an MD because my mother and sisters are both MDs). Why do I say this? a DO is trained in everything an MD is for a given specialty, and in addition a DO has the extra tool of OMT to treat musculoskeletal disorders while the MD cannot do the same due to a deficiency in the allopathic education. Now, given the fact that one can be better educated at a DO school so that he can more effectively serve his patients, does it not then speak well for the students who are willing face discrimination to pursue excellence, and conversely, does it also speak very poorly of students who so fear discrimination to not pursue excellence? Now when seen under that light, I wonder who among us make better doctors as well as more valiant human beings?
     
  35. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    The fact of the matter is that no one is **really** sure what makes an excellent physician. Is it high academic achievements, lots of compassion and empathy, or just a good head on one's shoulders? Probably a bit of all of the above. That said, how does one establish thresholds in choosing among the piles applicants who all want to be doctors some day? We are not the first to ask these questions...

    Keep in mind that the purpose of standardized admission tests, like the MCAT, is *not* to help schools pick the candidates with the highest probability of becoming the finest physicians in the world. Quite the contrary: It is to weed out students who will have a difficult time handling the rigors of a medical school curriculum. The MCAT people make this point clear. It is a point that keeps getting lost in the din: There is a point of diminishing returns on traditional predictors of academic success (MCAT and GPA).

    The few studies that have examined the validity of MCATs and GPAs as predictors of success consistently conclude that those variables are only part of the overall equation. There is a growing interest among admission officers and researchers, including myself, in noncognitive predictors of medical student success:

    TITLE: Evaluating the predictive validity of MCAT scores across diverse applicant groups.
    AUTHORS: Koenig JA; Sireci SG; Wiley A
    AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC 20037-1127, USA. [email protected]
    SOURCE: Acad Med 1998 Oct;73(10):1095-106
    CITATION IDS: PMID: 9795629 UI: 99011721
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To examine the predictive validity of MCAT scores, alone and in combination with other preadmission data, for medical students grouped by race/ethnicity and sex. METHOD: This study included two samples: 1,109 students who entered in 1992 any of the 14 medical schools participating in the MCAT Predictive Validity Study; and all 11,279 students who entered medical school in 1992 and took the USMLE Step 1 in June 1994. Criterion measures included each student's cumulative GPA in the first two years of medical school and his or her pass/fail status on Step 1. Differential predictive validity was examined by comparing prediction errors across racial/ethnic and sex groups. For cumulative GPA; residuals were compared, and for Step 1, classification errors were studied. RESULTS: The patterns of prediction errors observed across the groups indicated that, on average, (1) no difference between the sexes in prediction errors was evident; (2) performances of the three racial/ethnic minority groups tended to be overpredicted, with significant findings for Asians and Hispanics; and (3) Caucasians' performance tended to be underpredicted, although the magnitude of this underprediction was quite small. When USMLE Step 1 scores were the criterion for success in medical school, the majority of errors were overprediction errors. CONCLUSION: The authors caution that although MCAT scores, alone and in combination with undergraduate GPA, are good predictors of medical school performance, they are not perfect. The authors encourage future research exploring additional predictor variables, such as diligence, motivation, communication skills, study habits, and other relevant characteristics. Similarly, they indicate that high grades and Step 1 scores are not the only indicators of success in the medical profession and call for studies examining other important qualities, such as integrity, interpersonal skills, capacity for caring, willingness to commit to lifelong learning, and desire to serve in underserved areas.


    TITLE: Predicting medical students' academic performances by their cognitive abilities and personality characteristics.
    AUTHORS: Shen H; Comrey AL
    AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
    SOURCE: Acad Med 1997 Sep;72(9):781-6
    CITATION IDS: PMID: 9311320 UI: 97457511
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To utilize multiple regression analyses with both linear and quadratic models to explore and confirm the relationships among students' cognitive abilities, personality traits, and medical school performances at the University of Los Angeles, California, UCLA School of Medicine. METHOD: Ninety-seven "not-disadvantaged" students' pre- medical grade-point averages (GPAs), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, and personality traits as measured by the Comrey Personality Scales (administered at their application to medical school in 1985) were used to predict their medical school performances according to several criteria. "Disadvantaged" students were excluded from the study because their poor performances on all criteria would confound the relationships of personality, cognitive ability, and performance. RESULTS: The MCAT score was a strong predictor of medical school performances, particularly those criteria measured by medical school GPAs and the National Board of Medical Examiners examination scores, but its predictive power dropped sharply when clinical performance and personal suitability were part of the performance evaluation. Specific personality traits not only strengthened the predictive power of cognitive and personality variables jointly, they became the primary predictors of clinical performance and personal suitability. A single personality-profile index failed to show any power of prediction. As expected, quadratic relationships were found between some personality traits and some medical school performance measures. CONCLUSION: According to these data it is not realistic to use one or two personality traits to predict personal suitability on all medical performance measures. The multiple regression analysis results indicate that different personality characteristics are incorporated in different types of medical performances, which is perhaps why the overall personality-profile score failed to predict any of the studied criteria. Because of the study's relatively small sample size, however, cross-validation studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

    Now, osteopathic medical schools seek not to only produce excellent and comprehensively trained physicians, they also seek to produce *osteopathically minded* physicians as well. So, there is a whole other layer of subjectvice assessment in the D.O. school admissions process that does not exist in the MD world. The scant data, and I mean *scant* data, that address the question, What is osteopathic [or holistic, or patient centered]? suggest that life experiences and attitudes toward patient care **prior to medical school matriculation** are important predictors in the development of osteopathic [or holistic, or patient centered] attitudes later on down the line. Therefore, D.O. schools must pay attention to these variables in their own selection process. To not do so would undermine their whole reason for existing. Remember: Osteopathic medicine developed as social movement, a reform movement, in American medicine.

    One interesting finding in a study examining which medical students are more likely to adopt a "patient-centered" (about as close as you can get to "holistic" in the academic literature) approach to care during their clinical training concluded, "Clinical students who were older were more likely to have a 'patient-centred' approach to disease prevention and health promotion."

    [Med Educ 1996 Mar;30(2):97-104
    Disease prevention and health promotion: a study of medical students and teachers.
    Meakin RP, Lloyd MH]

    Is it any wonder then that the average age of matriculation at D.O. schools is older than many M.D. schools? What do you think this might mean?

    A few toughts on D.O. discrimination: Vastly exaggerated in the pre-med internet world. Sure, some residency program directors have biases against D.O. students. This is not news. Other directors also have biases against older students, black students, and women. Minority issues, be they ethnic, gender, or professional, are generally similar across minority groups.

    It is the rule and not the exception that D.O.'s compete on par with M.D.'s for primary care residencies. Moreover, in the great scheme of things D.O.'s and M.D.'s are political allies against all those professional/interest groups trying to interfere in the scope of practice of medicine. The AOA and AMA sit on the same side of the table. I encourage you to read the proceedings of Josiah Macy Foundation's conference, "Current Challenges for MD's and DO's" to learn more about the professional and political state of affairs between the two professional groups.

    Now, I can't find any studies that compare MD's and DO's in the day to day practice of medicine. But, there are a few studies that compare performance of D.O.'s who completed MD or DO residencies on national board exams. Generally, they find that the performance is comparable:

    TITLE: Comparison of performance on the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine certifying examination 1986 to 1996 by type of residency.
    AUTHORS: Slick GL
    AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Department of Internal Medicine, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University, IL 60615, USA.
    SOURCE: J Am Osteopath Assoc 1997 Jul;97(7):417-22
    CITATION IDS: PMID: 9257513 UI: 97401874
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine if internal medicine residency type or location was associated with differences in performance of candidates as measured by the internal medicine certifying examination. Included in the study were all first-time taker candidates for the 1986 to 1996 American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine certifying examinations in internal medicine. Group analysis was performed based on the type of residency track leading to board eligibility: (1) traditional internship plus 3 years of internal medicine residency; (2) traditional internship plus 2 years of internal medicine residency and 1 year of subspecialty training; (3) specialty track internship plus 2 years of internal medicine residency; and (4) traditional internship plus 3 years of allopathic internal medicine residency. Subgroup analysis of the subspecialty track group was performed to determine if any particular subspecialty-trained subgroup performed better than the others. Results indicate that all groups had similar scores and pass rates except for the allopathic-trained residents, whose scores and pass rates were lower. Subgroup analysis of the subspecialty-trained candidates revealed that procedure-oriented subspecialty candidates performed similar to non-procedure-oriented candidates. No gender differences were noted in scores or pass rates. It is concluded that the overall performance of candidates is equivalent for each of the residency training tracks developed by the American College of Osteopathic Internists. Future performance on the recertification examination will need to be tracked to determine if these trends continue for practicing internists.

    TITLE: Performances of candidates with osteopathic compared with allopathic subspecialty training on the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine subspecialty certifying examinations 1984 to 1992.
    AUTHORS: Slick GL; Dolan S
    AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Department of Internal Medicine, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, IL 60615.
    SOURCE: J Am Osteopath Assoc 1994 Dec;94(12):1050-3
    CITATION IDS: PMID: 7852104 UI: 95155070
    ABSTRACT: The American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine has been examining various factors that may affect candidate performance on subspecialty certifying examinations. To see whether taking subspecialty training in an osteopathic compared with an allopathic institution could predict better performance on the certifying examinations, the authors analyzed examination performance for all candidates from 1984 through 1992. There was no significant difference between the mean scores for the two groups for any of the nine subspecialty certifying examinations. When the results from all nine examinations were pooled, the mean first-time examination takers' score for candidates in allopathic subspecialty programs (n = 201) was 78.3 and for those in osteopathic subspecialty programs (n = 153), 77.4 (P > 0.2). On the basis of these results, we cannot conclude that osteopathic subspecialty training is a factor that predicts better performance on the subspecialty certifying examination.

    Bottom line: Ultimately, one's own success in medicine will be determined by the drive, ambition, and passion one holds for becoming the best physician he or she can be. There are some differences between MD and DO training, perhaps some differences in post-graduate opportunities too. Still, both professionals are recognized as complete physicians. I know no starving D.O.'s or M.D.'s.

    Do what you like.


    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited 03-08-99).]
     
  36. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    DOPhD- You make some very good points. I still want to emphasize that the reason I posted originally was to give a better explanation for the discrim. (real, oerceived, or merely rumored) against DO's than merely "old habits". Please do not feel that I would share in such discrimination...I know that I am yet naive, and I am open minded enough to take what you say to heart. I would challenge you, however, on a few points. For one, you seem to account for the differences in the quantitative academic profiles of DO vs. MD students by citing DO admissions committee's willingness to "see past the numbers". You say this as if, given an allopathic school's admissions committee's priorities, an osteopathic school wouild bring in a class with a very similar academic profile to an MD school. In other words, you seem to be suggesting that the differences are a result of the DO school rejecting more students with higher academic credentials than the MD school becasue they do "take other things into account" in their assessment of applicants. I think we all know that this is quite untrue. DO schools have a different applicant pool, and select students from this different, though overlapping, pool. The difference in the academic profiles is a result not of admissions criteria, but of the applicant pool itself. Do you really believe that the considerable difference in academic profiles results from a large difference in admissions methodology? All med schools, MD and DO, look for applicants whom they feel will be able to amass and synthesize a great deal of complicated information and then apply this to the care of human beings. They all look for compassion and academic merit, and they all take life expereinces into account. Because the average applicant to MD schools has a higher GPA and MCAT score than the average applicant to DO schools, the profiles of DO and MD classes differ. That said, I do realize that one's GPA and MCAT score say little about what kind of doctor they will become. However, this is not because they are irrelevant or poor standards of measurement. Instead, this is because other factors are ALSO critically important. A doctor must be generous, hard-working, ambitious, caring, intelligent, articulate, likeable, trustworthy, etc., etc...But, the kinds of qualities that earn someone a high GPA and MCAT are useful to an individual in much broader contexts. DO schools look for people who have exhibited these qualities just as earnestly as MD schools do. They do not "look past the numbers". They do, we can all agree, accept students with lower numbers...because the applicant pools are quite different. Personally, I do not think this SHOULD be used as a source of discrimination (and perhaps it is not...you are right, I do not know) because students, MD or DO, have access to the same education and may possess many of the same personal qualities that will make them excellent doctors, but if there is discrimination, this is the source of it.
     
  37. StillBorn

    StillBorn Member

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    Is anybody else wondeing why a pre-med with a "3.8-3.9 GPA and 42 MCAT" who has been "admitted to several highly ranked allopathic schools to date" is reading and posting here? Does anyone else think that looloo and Randy are the same person? (notice that Randy registered (3/5) soon after looloo bid a fond fair well(3/3)) Personally I look down on people like Randy who have low GPAs and MCATs; I had a 4.0 and 45.

    [This message has been edited by StillBorn (edited 03-08-99).]

    [This message has been edited by StillBorn (edited 03-08-99).]
     
  38. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member

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    Just some thoughts, Randy.

    First, you have brought up some interesting points -- some of which I may actually agree with. You mention that you find many of your classmates that will be attending D.O. schools to be "less intellectually gifted." I know the individuals you are referring to and it irks me that they gain acceptance anywhere. On more than one occasion I have been approached by these students for information regarding osteopathic medicine. How ironic that they would develop an immediate interest in osteopathic medicine after botching an organic chem exam or even the MCAT. At that point, I would offer very little encouragement or information to them because I did NOT want them as my colleagues. Selfish, perhaps ... I admit it was maybe even rude.

    As for those that do manage to get in, I can only wonder what a medical school admissions committee sees in them. But I must give them the benefit of the doubt and will therefore assume they will be competent doctors until I am convinced otherwise.

    The difficulty I have with your statement is in regards to generalizing from your sample. You are missing a HUGE segment of the D.O. matriculants. It is no coincidence that the average age at D.O. schools is 6-8 years higher than M.D. schools. This is because D.O. schools actively recruit the individuals with graduate degrees and with experience in other professions (while M.D. schools actively avoid these students) -- people like UHS2002, myself, Edgar, premed1a, Diane, and countless other students partcipating here. These are the people you have no contact with and they compose a large bulk of the osteopathic matriculants. I don't know if PCOM still publishes where their students went to school and what degrees they already possess, but I was quite impressed with the number of students possessing a PhD, MA, MS, PharmD, etc. If they still publish this information, take a look at it and compare it to any M.D. school that publishes similar information. More than likely, you will see a difference.

    A second point I wanted to make was my utter disgust with your sharing your numbers with everyone. I never share my grades or scores with anyone -- nor do I ask anyone their grades or scores, either. Premeds use these to immediately assess another student's value and that is simply wrong.

    I learned this when I began my post-bacc premedical studies. I had a professor who would gladly share which student had the highest grade on an exam, etc. (i.e., he wasn't much for respecting the privacy of our academic performance). Much to my disgust people learned of my rather expcetional academic performance and I was quickly granted the prestigous status of a "premed that could go anywhere he wanted." Of course when I told them that I wanted to be an osteopathic physician, they assumed something was academically wrong with me. And so for two years, I perplexed people by 1) Wanting to be a D.O. from day one, and 2) Outperforming most of them. On several occasions my classmates became so obsessed with learning my grades that they once determined that I had made the highest grade on an exam by asking getting the grades of all of the other students in the class. Sad. They looked and looked for reasons that they could feel "better" than me -- and not once did I want them to feel "lesser" than me.

    Let me tell you how immensely impressed (sarcastic) I was with these future M.D.s. Most of them gained easy acceptance to M.D. schools and I was quite glad that I would not be joining them. I'll take older students and students with slightly lower GPAs (and thus less of an ego) as my classmates any day of the week.

    CHOOSING to be a D.O.,
    And quite proud of that fact.

    Gregory

    [This message has been edited by Gregory Gulick (edited 03-10-99).]
     
  39. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member

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    randy,
    I'm not frustrated vs you. I asked you a simple question: WHAT EXACTLY HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED UP TO THIS POINT? How difficult is that to answer?
    You assert that DO students are less accomplished.

    I quote form you posts:
    "..I have numerous friends who are off to med school next year, and, to be perfectly honest, all of the brighter ones are going MD. They did not consider DO, and the ones who are considering DO are not only less academically qualified, but they are less intellectually gifted".

    Also, "..However, it does seem to me to be obvious that DO students, on average, have accomplished less than their MD counterparts up to this point in their lives."

    Now, since you asserted that DO students are less accomplished than MD students (and you), please provide a valid explanation on why you consider MD applicants to be more accomplished (in general of course).

    I'm glad you are sticking around bc/ that way we can hold on a conversation and resolve some of the misunderstandings you might have about what DO school is all about. I hope that some of the posts above were sufficient to show you that a lot of the DO students are not MD rejects (they do unfortunately exist), nor are they less accomplished -

    I hope, if nothing less, that after living this site - a long time from now - you won't (for your own benefit) consider the DO profession nor its members to be inferior or less accomplished.

    --Nicolas--
    WesternU'03



     
  40. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    Stillborn, as you cleverly call yourself, you are quite wrong about me. First of all, I am not "looloo", and the posting pattern you mention in support of your hypothesis is coincidental (though not even much of a coincidence, at that). But, enough of that, if you think I am looloo, so be it. Since you seem querolous, the reason I am posting here is quite simple: I am home over spring break working on my thesis, sitting in front of this damned desktop hours and hours each day, and killing the occasional odd half-hour posting on this (and other even less reputable) pre-med websites. Greg- Thank you for your most thoughtful post. You are quite right that I do not know or see the cross-section of the pre-med community that may comprise the bulk of DO matriculants. Hearing things from your perspective is very interesting. If DO schools ahve a very high % of students with advanced degrees, it may make sense that the academic profile of the entering classes at such schools is lower than that at MD schools. Students initially heading down a non-pre-med track might not feel the same compulsion to acheive high grades as their pre-med counterparts, and, realizing relatively late that they had medicinal aspirations, their ugrad GPA's may be low-ish. After graduate training, however, they have probably more than proven their academic merits, and then are quite qualified to attend medical school, assuming the committees will look past their less than sparkling ugrad performance. In this case, the lower "stats" are explained while also accounting for the generally high degree of acheivement and competence you (and other here) have asserted abounds in the DO med student community. The DO's I have encounterd are the ones who were pre-med all along, and plan to take advantage of the lower admissions criteria at DO schools right out of college. This, according to the expereinces you have related, could account for my admittedly somewhat dismissive view toward the DO student body, for these students you see as an unfortunate aberration, and not as the norm. This is all very interesting, indeed! Thanks for the insights. As for why I posted my "stats": I posted them in the first comment I made on this board, which, if you look back, you will see was not about the DO/MD issue at all. I was addressing the (I feel) mistaken belief that med school admsissions is a crapshoot. Using my case as an example, I wanted to argue that there was not a huge element of luck involved, and my "stats" and acceptances were intended to be illustrative of my point. I might have said "competetive stats" instead, and I assuredly would have had this been a less anonymous forum, but under the auspices of perfect anonymity, I feel sharing numbers is socially acceptable. If I posted with my real name (i.e. Gregory Gulick), I would not list my 3.9/42 as brazenly (or at all). But, as you know, there is always that temptation to brag about one's accomplishments in subtle ways, and I may have succumbed to that in posting my stats (I believe you did as well in talking about your "unfortunate" experiences at the head of your post-bacc class). I did post them for a purpose, but I'll admit it could have been avoided. I guess I just feel like I deserve some recognition for the scores, especially because so many schmucks post on sights like this claiming to have similar scores. In reality, there are probably fewer than 100 people in the country with scores of 42 or above (mine are 41-43, actually), and I've seen a larger number than that seriously claiming to have scored in this range. Not that I actually feel MCAT scores mean much at all, but I certainly can't tell my pre-med friends about them, so people on sites like this will just have to deal with it! [​IMG] High grades and scores can pump up my pre-med ego, to be sure, but as soon as I arrive on campus to begin my medical studies next year, my med student ego will be at normal levels, I assure you. No real reason to be disgusted by those who want to enjoy their last few months at the top of the pre-med heap before being thrown to wolves next year!
     
  41. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    Nick- I assume you don't really want me to list my accomplishments, and that wouldn't help make my point anyway. I will rephrase what I said earlier, given what I have seen on this thread: The DO applicants I KNOW are less accomplished, on average, than their MD counterparts. Some of the counter examples you folks have provided are very strong indicators that my experience may be limited to the point of being non-representative. I am not yet convinced that my experiences are non-representative, but all of you have at least convinced me that thay MAY be.
     
  42. randy

    randy Junior Member

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    Nick- One more thing before I get back to my thesis...I never said that I thought DO's were less accomplished or qualified as physicians than their MD counterparts!!! Far from it: my doctor is a DO, and he is wonderful. DO's receive training equal to MD's no doubt. They are trained at less prestigious schools, perhaps, but I never claimed this had anything to do with what kind of doctors they will become. One would have to be foolish and short-sighted to claim that DO's were not as capable as MD's. The claims I have made about DO's are aimed at showing WHY DO's may have trouble gaining full recognition as doctors, not that they SHOULD or MUST have this trouble. Some of you even suggest that they don't have this trouble, and that is good news as far as I am concerned
     
  43. flu

    flu Junior Member

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    DRUSSO--
    Thank you for your information. Being informed is definitely more important than emotional outbursts. I completely agree with you that the md vs. do thing is over-exaggerated on the internet and i think i may use this quote more than once if you dont mind "n the great scheme of things D.O.'s and M.D.'s are political allies against all those professional/interest groups trying to interfere in the scope of practice of medicine. " Right on! Thanks again.

     
  44. BD

    BD Member

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    Randy,You should do your homework a little more before you go making statements that D.O. students are not as academically talented as their M.D. counterparts.The avg.MCAT score for MD students is approx.29,for DO students it is approx.26.The avg. gpa's are 3.55 and 3.4 respectively.It is true that MD students have "slightly" higher numbers but remember the key word here is "slightly"and both sets of numbers are equally impressive.Your statements,unfortunately,reflect the attitudes of many MD students who feel that they are mentally superior to the "DO student".Their egos,however,are quickly deflated when they realize that the differences in numbers, between the two, are negligible.
     
  45. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member

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    Thanks for providing me a most valuable address, ie. the Princeton Review webpage. I dropped by to check it out and boy, am I amazed by the level of childishness/jealousy/ignorance/selfishness/condescension these pre-meds display to others and among themselves. In truth I was beginning to question whether it would have been a wiser decision for me to attend Temple U. instead of a DO shool, and after seeing how these children act, I have no doubt that I DO NOT want them as my classmates. With ego big as theirs, I doubt they would make good human beings much less caring doctors. One even posted that MD = make money, PhD = poor and destitute, and DO = do over. I laughed and yet pity the poster's lack of humanity as he clearly sees medicine as a way of making big bucks and achieving prestige instead of making a difference in someone's life and leaving a humane legacy. Randy, if you desire these folks to be your colleagues someday, I don't envy you for the "M.D." badge that they will one day wear may tarnish yours as well though you might well be an innocent bystander. I know if I were a patient reading the Princeton's posts, I will bestow upon these premeds very little confindence and no "prestige" at all so that whatever worth they deem themselves to possess is purely imaginary. Again, I thank the DO students and premeds going into osteopathic medicine for your sense of community, your courage to tread a different path, and most of all, for an ounce of humanity. I'm only sorry that I ever had doubts.
     
  46. Ponyboy

    Ponyboy Senior Member

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    Forgive my ignorance and intrusions but i was wondering: if a much higher % of DO students aqcuire a grad degree before they enter DO school, why do they have lower MCATs than college grads? i would have thought that since they know a great deal more than the average college grad, they would perform better than them. i know very well that the grad students at my university could run intellectual circles around me in terms of biology, chemistry etc. just because they've been doing it for so long that it's second nature to them. also, the mcat is 15% knowledge and 85% reasoning skills, so i would've expected 'older' people, who undoubtedly have more experience and common sense than someone my age, to have done much better on the mcats.

    two more questions: Gregory, if you had done so well in your undergrad and since you had such an early desire to become a DO, why didn't you just go straight to DO school? i would have thought that if you really wanted to be a DO, you would have applied as soon as possible.

    DOPhD: i've seen some posts from you before and at one time you seemed to enjoy being a DO student while at others you seem to regret going to DO school (in the 'Discrimination' and 'Early Decision Program' posts you said that there was a glass ceiling, etc.) what has made you change your mind now?
     
  47. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member

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    Ponyboy, I graduated in 1996 with a B.A. in Audiology/Speech-Language Pathology with minors in History and Gerontology. I actually managed to get through an entire degree without taking a SINGLE premedical class! So after spending time in both osteopathic and allopathic hospitals as a volunteer and realizing that I was drawn to osteopathic medicine, I knew I had to "start over" in college. So I enrolled as a post-bacc premedical student, meaning that I took biology, chem, orgo, physics, etc. This was done at Stetson University and I took these classes alongside freshman and sophomores. You are probably thinking I was in one of those postbacc programs designed for persons with poor undergraduate grades and no chance for medical school. For me, I wasn't really in a post-bacc program at all. I was a post-bacc student taking normal college classes with other undergrads because I had never taken ANY premedical courses. So basically, I could not have applied right after I graduated because I had NONE of the pre-reqs.

    All in all, it has turned out well. I somehow managed to get accepted to my first choice school (NSUCOM) my first year of applying. The application process was expensive and rigorous and I am quite thankful that I only had to do it once (and only had to take the MCAT once!) And, because of the way the application process is setup I essentially had a "year off" to apply. I've spent this year cramming a two-year gerontology masters program into one year. This degree will be conferred on May 1st! Woo hoo! It has been a lot of work, but it has been worth it. Graduate school challenges you to develop original and novel thoughts, whereas medical school encourages you to cram facts. I think the graduate education has truly benefited my personal development.

    Gregory Gulick

    [This message has been edited by Gregory Gulick (edited 03-10-99).]
     
  48. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member

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    Ponyboy,

    I will share my situation which I think will shed some light. My undergraduate major was psychology. I did about average for a premed, but I didn't develop the urge to become a medical student until I was about to graduate. My scholarship wouldn't allow me to change majors that late in the game, so I finished up in psychology and went into the military.

    Five years and a graduate degree in health services management later, I rekindled the dream (or goal as it stands now). I am taking the remaining premed classes along side current premeds. However, biology is a class I took over ten years ago! When I take the MCAT this fall I will be testing on ten year old knowledge.

    Many older/graduate students encounter this problem. Taking a test that draws on information you haven't had a class on in many years is a little more difficult than if you had the courses a few months ago. Reviewing can be a great equalizer, but all of the serious students are reviewing, so it tends to balance out (leaving you right back where you started).

    This problem may exist with chemistry and biology graduate students as well. Comparing basic chemistry with graduate chemistry is like comparing arithmatic with calculus. Yes, you must use the former to perform the later, but it is analogous to a child who has just learned long division being more likely to be more proficient at it than an older person who is working now working as an accountant (who invariably uses a calculator). Add to this a bit of graduate pride in the form of "It tests the basics, I am at an advanced level, it will require little preparation," and you can see that having more advanced education may be a distinct disadvantage to MCAT scores.

    Further, I would argue that there is about a 30/70 split of reasoning skills to knowledge on the MCAT. If your 85/15 contention where correct, then a person whe never took the premed courses would still be able to reason their way through the test (which is clearly not the case).

    Randy,

    I am impressed by your ability to remain rational under the heat of the disagreement you received. It takes a well trained mind to remain objective in the face of such strong convictions.
     
  49. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Randy,
    Maybe I can cast some light from a different perspective on your MD/DO query...There is one component I see as a glaring omission in this on-going debate over academic prowess in both of the program types. Let me enlighten you...neither your ability to ace the MCAT, your U-grad GPA nor your med school GPA in ANY way form or fashion ensures that you will be worth your salt as a physician. I have many years of clinical experience [ask if you want my credentials]. During this time, I have worked with some fabulous physicians and some real stumps! Two of the absolute WORST [both as clinicians & personality-wise] physicians I have worked with were EXTREME academic performers. Believe me, neither of them hesitated over sharing their stats, esp if you questioned their orders. Both of them graduated at the top of the class, as in validictorian. Clinicially, they were inept and dangerous. They both had the personality of a turd. They both had been physicians a number of years, circa 15+. You see, the numbers are no guarantee.

    Furthermore, one of the brightest and most clinically talented docs I know went to med school in Mexico [He is a native Mexican], a country NOT known for it's excellence in any form of education. Yet he is a highly successful, clinically excellent and wonderful person to know and work for/with.

    I'll grant you the above cited data are only anecdotal support to my claim. But, couple them with my 14+ years in various allied health capacities and that grants me some license. You will note, I specifically omitted whether any of these docs were DO or MD...that is because I feel that to be irrelevant.

    So, gauging how wonderful a physician you may become simply upon numbers is most likely completely unfounded. Ask any doc who doesn't have to hide their insecurities behind an ego and they will tell exactly what I saying.

    The ones with which I have established legitimate first-name basis friendships, and there are many [DO & MD], will tell you------->the numbers are important in what residencies etc...you get; but what makes someone a great physician is within the person; and that can not be programmed into a person by EITHER program.






    ------------------
    'Old Man Dave'

     
  50. Philbert

    Philbert Junior Member

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    OldManDave:

    Amen, brother.

    Sorry to rain on anybody's parade, but MCAT's, Grades, ETC don't have a hell of a lot to do with who makes a great physician. Grades/test scores may have something to do with MEASUREABLE "intelligence", but have very little to do with ACTUAL intelligence.

    For example: my graduate degree is (well, will be in a month) in molecular genetics. There are lots of people who can ace knowledge based tests. Ask them to analyze some experimental data, and it is quickly obvious who is "intelligent" and who knows how to memorize for grades. We can, of course, make the argument that med school is about remembering various facts. This is true. However, take the person who graduates #10 in their medical school class and the person who graduates #30 in their medical school class, and test their medical knowledge after a couple years out in the real world.

    I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that there will be no significant differnce between the amount of knowledge retained by either of them. My point being is that "out there", we all have to have a good framework of facts, but we will use those facts in concert with our personal experiences to analyze "data", i.e. the person presenting with a disease process. The truly great physician is the one who posesses the greatest "integrative" intelligence...the one who can think on multiple levels. Not the one who nessecarily graduates #1 in their class.

    And as far as MD/DO goes, it is a non-question. I have lots of friends in in both types of schools. None of my MD track friends reports any disrespect by MD's for DO's, except in the rare case of a REALLY old MD who was around when the DO education was substandard. The average person still doesn't understand the differences/similarities between MD's and DO's, and that will likely change with time, as DO's become more widespread.

    The point is: there really isn't any significant difference intellectually between people in MD programs vs. DO programs. The training is nearly identical these days, with the exception of DO's learning OMM or OMT or whatever they call it this week :^) Now, there may be a difference between the student going to Hopkins, and the Student going to a DO school or the average Med School. However, if we are going to hold everyone to the standard that only the "greatest" students go to really high end medical schools, then someone better get out there and tell 99% of the physicians in the world that they are substandard, and that they can never be "great" because their GPA was a 3.4 instead of a 3.5.

    The fact of the matter is that most people that go to med school, MD or DO, are going to make fine physicians, irrespective of their grades, irrepsective of the letters after their names. To point fingers and say who got a B in organic chem and who got an A in organic chem is petty nonsense, and has no relevance to clinical practice. Deal with it.

    Just my $.02

    Philbert
     
  51. Oh Randy, you poor naive, condescending, individual. How can you be surprised that people would take offense to your comments when you state that DO students have accomplished LESS in their lives than MD students. You made this comment in reference to all ones accomplishments, not just grades and MCATS. Also maybe you should drink a cup of reality potion and when people say that many students with high grades and MCATS don't get accepted to MD school they may mean students who are around the mean for ACCEPTED MD students. That being around or slightly below 30. When you ride off on your high horse stating, " Look at me, I got a 42 and a 3.9 GPA and I haven't had any trouble getting into MD school." No sh** sherlock you yourself said you are one of about 100 out of 64000 who take the MCAT and I also liked how you pointed out that you were still waiting for your first rejection letter from an MD school. Plus you continually try to come off as not really being discriminatory about DO students, which to me just drives home the fact you are. Not everyone who goes to MD school has a 38 or higher on the MCAT. In fact I know several friends who got around 26 and were accepted to MD school. There are several MD schools that have average MCAT below 9, why not dicriminate against them? You have no right to be a doctor. You obviously have a superiority complex and lack the necessary qulaities to even be a marginal physician and lack the qualities to be a decent human being. I wish people like you nothing but disappointment in life. You don't deserve anyones respect.
     
  52. mevannorden

    mevannorden Member

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    It is absolutely true that DO schools sometimes serve as last chance opportunities for MD wannabees. However, as stated in prior postings, there are other reasons why the DO applicant pool has lower average scores. One undiscussed reason is the simple lack of knowledge of many pre-med students. I attend the Des Moines DO school, which has been here since 1898. I can't count the number of times that I tell people where I go to school and they say "Huh?". It's commonly known by students as "the school on Grand" because that's how people in the community know it. Of course there are many who do know there's an osteopathic school in Des Moines, but many don't. Another problem is the lack of understanding of what a DO is. Many think DO's can only do manipulation. Many think DO's are limited in their practice rights. Of course this is not true, but no pre-med is going to apply at an osteopathic school if he doesn't understand that DO's have equal practice rights with MD's. This midunderstanding, in my opinion, is a great contributor to the disparity between average DO scores and average MD scores.

    I can also attest to the professional diversity of DO classes. My class contains 1 veterinarian, at least one PA (orthopedic at that), nurses, paramedics, masters in anatomy, masters in biochem., etc. As a traditional student it's nice being around so many people with clinical experience. They are able to relate academic facts to relevant clinical experience, which makes the information much more interesting for me.



    [This message has been edited by mevannorden (edited 03-28-99).]
     

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