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D.C. TO D.O.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by GLINDSEY, Jan 16, 2001.


    GLINDSEY New Member

    Jan 15, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Your valuable input is needed!! Basically I just have an academic question.

    I am currently half way through a 4yr program in chiro school and want to do a D.O. program after finishing here. (I may practice for a year, depends). The reason for getting two professional degrees is a long one so please DON'T ask. (Unless you really want to know)

    According to some, the g.p.a used to calculate admissions is NOT the one given by the degree granting institution (basically any classes that count towards that degree) but is actually re-assessed by AOMCAS and TMCAS (in TX) using ALL classes you have taken whether they were part of your degree or not.

    1. IS THIS TRUE?

    2. If so, is this the same g.p.a. method used to determine science G.P.A.?

    3. What classes count towards a science g.p.a.? For example, most of my basic science curriculm mirrors D.O. basic
    sciences. However, do courses like pathology,lab diagnostics, clinical diagnostics and pharmacology, public health etc., count?

    4. Just shooting in the dark...aiming low
    What is the worst grades and MCAT scores
    you have heard of that got entrance? Not
    that mine is all that bad but I want
    more information on what AVERAGE scores
    really are. Eg. 3.3 = 3.0/3.6 or 3.2/3.4

  2. Hello,

    Your chiropractic courses will count towards your GPA on your ACOMAS application. The science courses you will indicate as science courses. Basically, any college class you have ever taken has to be indicated on the application and transcripts from all universities attended must be sent to the application service.

    If I am not mistaken, you must complete a Bachelors degree before you make application to the D.O. schools. Many of your DC courses will likely transer, but you are still going to need to take all of the pre-reqs (Biology I and II, Chemistry I and II, Organic chemistry I and II, Physics I and II). I also recommend you take biochemistry because it is quickly becoming an important aspect of admissions.

    On the bright side, being a DC will not go unnoticed. Your clinical and practical experience will be viewed positively by the osteopathic admission's committees.

    As far as statistics go I recommend you go to USNews.com and search out graduate school, medical school, and then osteopathic and you will get a breakdown for each school. On average though you will want to shoot for a 3.3 overall and a 3.3 science and a 25+ MCAT. There are a million exceptions to that rule though. Some people get accepted with a 23 MCAT and a 3.9 GPA, and others get accepted with a 3.15 GPA and a 27+ GPA. Your entire application, the experiences you've had, the things you've done, and your interview all play a role in the admission's process.

    I believe everything I've told you is accurate. I'm sure others will post with more information and other helpful tips. I think I've covered the basics. Good luck!

  3. Yes. University gpas are subject to a variety of manipulations, not including retaking courses, etc. Both AMCAS and ACOMAS will calculate an overall gpa (of ALL the courses you've ever taken) and a science gpa which includes all courses in Biology, Chemistry, Math and Physics. All courses taken will be included in the calculations regardless of whether they counted toward your major or degree.

    Yes...see above.

    Sure - anything that relates to a science will be counted. I'm not sure that Public Health will be counted (although it may very well be), but definitely courses in path, pharm and the like are counted in your BCPM gpa.

    Since there are many other variables beyond numbers, its hard to give an answer to this one. As "Wish" has noted, there are students every year with low MCATs and high gpas (and vice versa) who get admitted; however, these are the exception rather than the rule. For the last few years, the average MCAT score for admitted students has been above 27 (or at least a 9 in each category). The average gpa is probably around 3.5 - that doesn't mean that you'll get in with those numbers or that you won't if you have lesser numbers.

    I will state that I *slightly* disagree with "Wish" on the issue of whether being a DC will help you. Medicine deplores dilettantes and IMHO, there will be some concern about *why* you are switching careers, especially so early in the game. *I* do think there is some bias against applicants from allied health careers. You've mentioned you have a satisfactory reason for the switch and I would encourage you to talk about this in your personal statement and in any discussions you might have with AdComs.

    As always, if you are able, set an appointment with a med school committee member, asking for some advice in the event you do apply.

    Hope this helps.

    [This message has been edited by kimberlicox (edited 01-16-2001).]
  4. Kim,

    I just love your posts.

    Allow me to expound upon my previous post.

    I think you bring up a warranted concern about his motivations for switching from chiropracting to osteopathy. However, I know first hand from attending numerous oteopathic "open houses" that D.C.'s are widely accepted into the profession. So as long as he has legitimate reason for his motivations I think he'll be fine in that regard.

    As far as the statistics you mention Kim, I think you are relating more to the allopathic experience. Many osteopathic medical schools have average MCAT scores in the 24,25,26 range. The highest average is around 27,28. Of course the higher the score the better off the above poster is.
    Same thing with GPA Kim, it depends alot on the school. The highest average accepted GPA is in the 3.5,3.6 range, but it goes all the way down to the 3.3 range. My rule of thumb is the lower the GPA the higher the MCAT score required. The higher the MCAT score the lower the GPA required. Of course there is a narrow window. A GPA below 3.0 is going to be difficult to overcome even with a stellar MCAT, and a 4.0 isn't going to float too far below a 23 MCAT. Again, check USNews for more information.

    Those are my experiences, but there are just so many exceptions to the rule. I can't pretend to have all the answers, I've been rejected more times than the average Joe. ;-)

    Anyway, Take care and good luck!

    P.S. I've been rejected 12 times in 2 years and the count still keeps rolling. ;-)

    [This message has been edited by WishUponAStar (edited 01-16-2001).]
  5. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 1998
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    For UNTHSC-TCOM, you'll need a between a 26-28 MCAT and approx 3.5 GPA. You should carefully think about your reasons for wanting to switch professions. I think that there is a D.C. among the first-years at TCOM. You might try calling the student affairs office and asking if you could arrange a meeting with him.

    David Russo, MS3
    StudentDoctor.Net Forum Moderator
  6. Thanks "Wish" for clarifying your posts and the issues with average scores. You are right - perhaps I was basing my knowledge of average scores on my allopathic experience and my experience of 4 years ago (when the numbers of applicants to both schools were up). However, I didn't want to fall into the trap of stating that the average scores for osteopathic schools are lower and incite a flame war! [​IMG]

    I was under the impression that the TX schools were more competitive and since Scott was interested in those, thought that he should expect to have to have a higher gpa and MCAT. I stand corrected that the average scores for all ostepathic schools are lower than I had originally thought (and posted). And while the "rule" of high gpa-low MCAT, low MCAT-high gpa is popular among pre-med students, conventional wisdom among ad-coms is that a high gpa-low MCAT is preferred over high MCAT-low gpa - something about long term measures. Obviously this will vary from applicant to applicant and probably means very little as a lone measure of admission.

    As for acceptance of DCs in the DO community, obviously there are exceptions to every rule here as well and DOs and DCs would be better able to comment on this than I. However, it has been *my* observation that medicine does not care highly for those who are switching careers - especially from allied health professions. And let's face it - chiropracty does NOT enjoy a favorable reputation among physicians - DO or MD. Sunday night episode of "The Simpsons" captured it perfectly! [​IMG] He states that he has a good reason for switching and I believe him and I'm sure there won't be a problem - for the most part. But I'm willing to bet that he will be asked about it and that it may be seen as negative by *some*.

    I am not advocating this by any means - medicine NEEDS more variety and more people who know what they are getting into. And while I have seen exceptions to every rule - people who get in after 5 attempts, IMGs who get prestigious residencies, etc. - these are exceptions and I don't believe it helps anyone to say "I did it" without detailing the difficulties in doing so. After all, I'm a good example of this - although I have had several interviews for a general surgical residency, I am willing to point out to others that there are many programs that wanted nothing to do with me and my average USMLE scores.

    I'm probably out of my depth posting on pre-med topics since things have changed a fair bit in the last 4 years. I guess I just need something to do while on vacation and between interviews!

    [This message has been edited by kimberlicox (edited 01-16-2001).]
  7. dcdo

    dcdo Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 1999
    Likes Received:

    Some of your DC courses will count toward admission GPA. For some perspective, here are my numbers:

    Undergrad-UCLA- 2.8(too much drinking)
    DC-LACC- 3.63
    MCAT- 31
    DO school to-date- 3.9(3rd year)

    As of yet I have found no negativity to my DC past. Of course, that may be different at the major university MD centers. You will have a head start on your classmates, although you will also have more debt.

    Good luck.

  8. OP

    GLINDSEY New Member

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Thankyou very much for the continued feedback. My struggles are academic although I have time to clear things up before I leave chiro school.

    I don't think being a doctor of "any" legal profession is going to hurt you. So I am at complete ease with answering questions concerning my reasons for "continuing" (not changing) my education. My primary (unspoken) reason is fairly simple; money!

    No not my earning more...a family member has offered to pay tuition if I am accepted to a D.O. program. Yes, he's serious...now, so am I. He knows very little about chiropractic but his ignorance is my bliss.

    For those who are not familiar with chiropractic, and it seems like "A LOT", YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND WHAT A CHIROPRACTIC EDUCATION ENTAILS. It's not what you may think. Please don't gain your understanding from rumors. I don't believe it's as comprehensive as allopathic BUT it is close in basic sciences and clinical diagnosis with exception of pharmacology and protocol. http://www.parkercc.edu/academics/index.shtml

    By the way we have a term for people like me..."medipractor"...I love what D.O.'s can do for their patients IF they practice OMT.
    They have the complete package. Whatever works use it!!!

    Another reason why I would subject myself to 12 years of college + residency is because it's a PRIVILEGE to become a D.O. I believe it is more than what I am doing now and I am doing just fine BUT if the brass ring is there I have an obligation to grab it! And if I can't...so be it...but I can and I will. Although, I may be too old by then to hang on for the ride. We shall see.

    Thanks and good luck to you all.

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