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D.O recommendation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by youngjock, Jun 13, 2000.

  1. youngjock

    youngjock Membership Revoked

    Jun 13, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hi, when should i start to find a do, and get a recommendation from him/her? I haven't filled out the application yet, that is why i am asking.

    what is "shadow?" how long should i do it?


    [This message has been edited by youngjock (edited 06-14-2000).]
  2. AMS-007

    AMS-007 Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2000
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    To "shadow" a doctor means that you should follow him/her around and let the physician act as your "mentor." If you are currently volunteering in a hospital and you know a particular physician you can ask him/her if you could tag along when they do their rounds. You might find this easier to do in the emergency room. The longer you shadow a physician the better. There are no "cut off" time periods. It is assumed that since you want to become a doctor, you are interested in medicine and therefore you will have spent a considerable amount of time exploring your decision to pursue a career in medicine. Needless to say, 50 hours of exploration does not seem sufficient.

    Since you want to become a D.O., it would be smarter for you to shadow an osteopathic physician rather than a M.D.. The more time you spend with this physician, the better that he/she will know you and therefore will be able to write a more informed letter about you. If you go to a D.O. a month or two months before your application is due, it is unlikely that he/she will write you a letter much less a good letter. If you do get a letter, it will be superficial at best.

    If you already know a D.O. (because there is one in your family or you have been seeing one as a patient) I doubt that you will have much difficulty getting a letter. However if you don't then, you'll need to devote yourself to this task.

    Another option is to apply to those schools that do not require a letter from a D.O.. These schools usually suggest that you obtain a D.O. letter.

    Good luck.

    NYCOM, Class of 2002
  3. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Fellow [Any Field]

    I take exception to the previous post regarding obtaining a letter of rec. What Amit describes is the textbook answer to your question. It's the way things SHOULD be, not the way things usually work out. Getting a letter from a DO/MD, at least in my experience, is not as hard as Amit describes. Most are more than sympathetic to the plight of the premed and willing to write a (good) letter of rec after getting to briefly know you.

    AMS-007 is correct in asserting that you need to get some prolonged exposure working in medicine before making the decision of whether medicine is the right path for you, however that experience does not necessarily have to involve the MD/DO from which you recieve a letter (athough it helps).

    Anyways, if you're applying this year, and it sounds like you are, you need to get moving on the issue ASAP. Check with the AOA, utilize the Web, heck, even open up the phonebook and find all the DO's you can (at least 10 if possible), preferably those that specialize in your area of interest (if you have one). Then send them a letter describing your situation, maybe include a short resume to show your experience/education/etc., and sit back and wait. Perfect your application. Hopefully by the time you're ready to submit to AACOMAS one of your efforts will pay off.

    When an MD/DO agrees to meet with you, make the first meeting informal and brief...maybe offer to take them to lunch if appropriate. During that inital meeting utilize your personal skills and get to know them. Come prepared with questions, and if you choose a DO be SURE to know what being a DO means (i.e. READ A BOOK). Then milk the MD/DO for information, and show some passion for what they do. Usually if you show genuine interest and an understanding of the profession the MD/DO will invite you to observe them in action. If they don't, bring the topic up and see if its feasible.

    When the time comes to do some real 'shadowing' take the time beforehand to read up on the MD/DOs specialty. Know any relevant issues relating to their practice. Impress them by asking how those issues have impacted their practice. Ask many more questions. Keep them talking. Everyone likes to talk about themselves...especially all those egotistical Drs [​IMG] When you're done with the first day, ask to come back. After a couple times working with them they should have enough info about you to write a really good letter of rec.

    Anyways, I hope this is helpful. Good luck.

  4. babytrey99

    babytrey99 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    David, I am another year before applying, but I found you comments very useful!! Thank you for spelling it out simply and clearly. I am fortunate enough to be seeing a DO as a patient (bad ankle, worse motorcycle wreck), and he was the one who offered the letter when hearing of my plans. I realize now that a letter is the first step. Thanks for your insight, it is good advice for the future.

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