Honze55

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From all the information I've heard, the DO degree is technically able to practice in any specialty in the medical profession.

Now, how about the reality of it? Are there some specialties where it is much harder to get matched into a residency if you have a DO vs. a MD?

If someone could please let me know which, if any, specialties are harder to obtain with a DO I would appreciate it. (I'm thinking about emergency medicine, but I'm still very undecided)

Thanks!!!

Daniel
 

EastWestN2grt

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From all the information I've heard, the DO degree is technically able to practice in any specialty in the medical profession.

Now, how about the reality of it? Are there some specialties where it is much harder to get matched into a residency if you have a DO vs. a MD?

If someone could please let me know which, if any, specialties are harder to obtain with a DO I would appreciate it. (I'm thinking about emergency medicine, but I'm still very undecided)

Thanks!!!

Daniel
Look at the threads for the recent DO Match list. This will give you a very good idea of the residencies recent DO grads are getting. EM is well represented.
 

RySerr21

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I work at the nation's busiest Level II trauma, and major teaching hospital in the U of Texas system. We have 5 or 6 DO attendings that I can think of, off the top of my head.

If you're good enough, you'll get it.
that didnt even answer the question......

OP,
i am simply going to relay to you the things I have read over and over again on various threads....this question is heavily debated but i think the general consensus (although many don't want to admit it) is that it will be more difficult to gain acceptance into a competetive MD residency as a DO student. common competetive specialties discussed are orthopedics, derm, neuro, etc. like TT said, if you are good enough, youll get it. but as a DO placing into a competetive MD spot..."good enough" is equivalent to damn near perfect.

howerver, if you are interested in emergency medicine i doubt you see the same type of competetiveness...you shouldnt have a problem.
 

JaggerPlate

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that didnt even answer the question......

OP,
i am simply going to relay to you the things I have read over and over again on various threads....this question is heavily debated but i think the general consensus (although many don't want to admit it) is that it will be more difficult to gain acceptance into a competetive MD residency as a DO student. common competetive specialties discussed are orthopedics, derm, neuro, etc. like TT said, if you are good enough, youll get it. but as a DO placing into a competetive MD spot..."good enough" is equivalent to damn near perfect.

howerver, if you are interested in emergency medicine i doubt you see the same type of competetiveness...you shouldnt have a problem.
This is a good answer OP. There isn't really any denying that DOs are not well represented in certain, highly competitive residencies. However, DOs do practice in every field of medicine and if you work hard enough you really can match however you want (I have personally seen 2 MD derm matches this year). Also, remember that there are DO residencies in derm, plastics, ortho, ENT, etc. For emergency medicine, this really isn't a concern. If you want to think you can do well on COMLEX and USMLE then match MD integrated plastics, you have a reality check coming ... but DOs are well represented in MD EM programs. Check out match lists for more info.
 

TexasTriathlete

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that didnt even answer the question......
Sure it did, to a point. I gave him something tangible and factual, as opposed to something I pulled out of my ***.

Now for something pulled out of my ***, but seems logical:

Every program is going to be different. There are some programs that are ridiculously hard to get into for anyone, programs that view us all as equals, and programs that may actually have a bias against DO physicians.

At this point, its out of my hands. I'm going to go to school and do my best (which is pretty ****ing good). Come match day, if my top choice for residency doesn't feel that I'm good enough, then I have nobody to blame but myself. I'm going to try to identify the specialty I want, and then do everything that is necessary to reach that goal. If I don't get it, **** happens. I'll go to the residency program I match into, and do my best there.

If you go to a DO school, blow the doors of your boards, and get good scores/make a good impression on your rotations, you'll find yourself in a good position on match day. This is the impression I'm getting from the residents and students I talk to at work all the time. Blaming your school or your degree for your failures is chicken****.
 

Mochajonz

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From all the information I've heard, the DO degree is technically able to practice in any specialty in the medical profession.

Now, how about the reality of it? Are there some specialties where it is much harder to get matched into a residency if you have a DO vs. a MD?

Daniel
You are correct. Technically DO's may practice in any specialty in the medical profession. DOs always have been and also will be well trained physicians. (remember the AT Still was an M.D. & D.O.)

The reality is DOs do not have a harder time getting matched to into residencies in general. There are several DO residencies out there. It does seem that DOs have a harder time getting into MD residencies. If you do not care about getting into an MD residency then in essence, no its not "harder" to get matched into a residency.

Certain residencies are naturally competitive on both the MD and DO side. So what TT said definitely applies. If you are good enough, you can get it.

Just make sure you are good enough :thumbup:
 

scpod

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....Now, how about the reality of it? Are there some specialties where it is much harder to get matched into a residency if you have a DO vs. a MD?....
Do you know how many people applied for the MD match in 2008?

35,956

How many were DOs?

2,711

It doesn't matter who you are, it's still hard to get into some specialties. Why is it that people assume it will be a lot easier to get into a specialty because you are an MD? You are competing against 33,245 other MDs for the same 22,240 spots. It's hard for everyone.

Next to US MDs, DOs have the best match percentage (71.6%) in the MD match. They beat previous US MD graduates(44%) , Canadian Graduates (62.2%), Fifth Pathway graduates (49%), US citizens (51.9%) from international schools (i.e. carribean), and non-US citizens (42.4%) from international schools.

Plus, DOs have our own match with the same specialties. And, 90% of DOs get their first choice in that match.
 

ATrain

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Very nice, thanks scpod. I noticed that many of the schools matched less than 50% of their graduating class, is this just representative of the number matching through the allopathic route?
 

VALSALVA

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that didnt even answer the question......

OP,
i am simply going to relay to you the things I have read over and over again on various threads....this question is heavily debated but i think the general consensus (although many don't want to admit it) is that it will be more difficult to gain acceptance into a competetive MD residency as a DO student. common competetive specialties discussed are orthopedics, derm, neuro, etc. like TT said, if you are good enough, youll get it. but as a DO placing into a competetive MD spot..."good enough" is equivalent to damn near perfect.

howerver, if you are interested in emergency medicine i doubt you see the same type of competetiveness...you shouldnt have a problem.
1. I'm assuming you meant Neurosurgery...not neurology.
2. Your point about being good enough is a good one and cannot be stressed enough. It has nothing to do with how hard you work or how bad you want it. You have to perform very very well and usually better than our MD student brothers/sisters in order to match into a highly competitive MD residency - not to mention the few highly competitive DO residencies that exist. A lot of pre-meds get a wake up call after about 3-4 months of med school - when they realize that regardless of the fact that they're working really hard, studying all the time and want to match into dermatology, they're dead smack in the middle of their class in terms of academics. Remember that 50% of your class will be below average and there are very few slackers in med school. They exist, but either drop out or are so smart that they truly don't need to study as much as others - hence they appear to be slacking. This general patten overlaps into the clinical years as well.
 

scpod

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Very nice, thanks scpod. I noticed that many of the schools matched less than 50% of their graduating class, is this just representative of the number matching through the allopathic route?
Recently, more DO grads have applied for the MD match than the DO match-- some schools more so than others. In the end, though, quite a few of those who don't match MD will still end up in a DO internship or residency during the scramble. In 2007, 53% of DOs ended up in DO spots after all was said and done.
 

RySerr21

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1. I'm assuming you meant Neurosurgery...not neurology.
2. Your point about being good enough is a good one and cannot be stressed enough. It has nothing to do with how hard you work or how bad you want it. You have to perform very very well and usually better than our MD student brothers/sisters in order to match into a highly competitive MD residency - not to mention the few highly competitive DO residencies that exist. A lot of pre-meds get a wake up call after about 3-4 months of med school - when they realize that regardless of the fact that they're working really hard, studying all the time and want to match into dermatology, they're dead smack in the middle of their class in terms of academics. Remember that 50% of your class will be below average and there are very few slackers in med school. They exist, but either drop out or are so smart that they truly don't need to study as much as others - hence they appear to be slacking. This general patten overlaps into the clinical years as well.
yes....neurosurgery.

ive alwasy wondered about the # of higly competetive DO residencies...what determines whether are not they are highly competetive? orthopedic surgery is a highly competetive field... that is not arguable....are you suggesting that of the 23 or so (i dont know the exact number but believe it is in the low-mid twenties) DO orthopedic residencies, only a few are considered highly competetive to get into?? how does "competetiveness" s reflect the overall educational experience?
 

GreenShirt

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yes....neurosurgery.

ive alwasy wondered about the # of higly competetive DO residencies...what determines whether are not they are highly competetive? orthopedic surgery is a highly competetive field... that is not arguable....are you suggesting that of the 23 or so (i dont know the exact number but believe it is in the low-mid twenties) DO orthopedic residencies, only a few are considered highly competetive to get into?? how does "competetiveness" s reflect the overall educational experience?
Competitiveness is usually determined by how many applicants go unmatched in each specialty (Ex. 5% unmatched in EM vs. 1% in Psych). In the case of ortho surg, all 23 residencies would be considered highly competitive b/c overall a larger number of candidates will not match into any of the spots (same goes for plastics, derm, optho, etc.). The specialty is competitive as a whole. Whereas, in the case of a specialty such as Internal medicine, only a subset of the 100 residencies would be competitive (ie. places like Johns Hopkins or Harvard, for which more candidates will compete). In others words, the specialty as a whole is not competitive, but certain residencies within that specialty are competitive (your chances of matching internal are high, but lower for specific spots).

As for educational experience, it just means you'll be gunning against bigger gunners, possibly with better resources.

(NOTE: the stats are made up for example)
 

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I don't wanna make another thread, so here is my question, If I wanna match into an MD residency only, can I just focus on doing well on the USMLEs and just doing enough to pass the COMLEXes??? Will this be frown upon? Will the admission director of those MD residencies care about my COMLEX scores?
 

spazzz

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they've also mentioned that the best med schools don't always equate to the best residency programs
 

GreenShirt

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I don't wanna make another thread, so here is my question, If I wanna match into an MD residency only, can I just focus on doing well on the USMLEs and just doing enough to pass the COMLEXes??? Will this be frown upon? Will the admission director of those MD residencies care about my COMLEX scores?
I don't know what a director would think but in all likelihood if you bust your butt to do well on the USMLE, you'll also preform well on the COMLEX because there's so much overlap between the two sets of exam (barring that you completely skip studying OMM and spend the night before the exam getting smashed).
 

slim78

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I don't know what a director would think but in all likelihood if you bust your butt to do well on the USMLE, you'll also preform well on the COMLEX because there's so much overlap between the two sets of exam (barring that you completely skip studying OMM and spend the night before the exam getting smashed).

Worked for the SAT!

I kid. :D
 

Marthea007

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I don't know what a director would think but in all likelihood if you bust your butt to do well on the USMLE, you'll also preform well on the COMLEX because there's so much overlap between the two sets of exam (barring that you completely skip studying OMM and spend the night before the exam getting smashed).
One of the teachers at my school told us a story once about how the night before his boards, him and some of his buddies figured there was no reason to try and study anymore because they weren't going to learn anything new. So they went out to a strip club and partied the night away. :thumbup: They did it both nights and passed everything with at least 80%. He's the coolest guy. I :love: my teachers...
 

VALSALVA

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yes....neurosurgery.

ive alwasy wondered about the # of higly competetive DO residencies...what determines whether are not they are highly competetive? orthopedic surgery is a highly competetive field... that is not arguable....are you suggesting that of the 23 or so (i dont know the exact number but believe it is in the low-mid twenties) DO orthopedic residencies, only a few are considered highly competetive to get into?? how does "competetiveness" s reflect the overall educational experience?
You're asking good questions and there's no hard and fast answer, really. Especially in the osteopathic match, competitiveness in the competitive fields varies widely from year to year. Frankly, some of the highly competitive fields aren't too tough to match into if you're willing to go anywhere. Take ortho for instance:

1. First, there are some rockstar DO students that have the numbers, letters and research to match in the MD match. They know they have the stuff so they skip the DO match or rank a handful of top notch DO programs.

2. The few top DO students wanting ortho are gonna match to the top programs - but there really aren't that many (look at the numbers).

3. What's left are mediocre (or worse) programs picking from a twice-picked-over group of good DO students. Look, I realize it's anecdotal but I know several current DO residents who would have NEVER EVER been able to do ortho without the DO match because they were mediocre students. Guess what - they ain't training at the top spots either. On the flip side, I've got an old classmate and friend of mine training at one of the better DO ortho sites. In fact, the program itself will become dually accredited next year. That's always a good sign as the MD accreditation standards are more stringent than the our own. This guy was top of the class, super friendly, super smart - he would have matched anywhere (MD or DO) based on his numbers, letters, and what not.

p.s. I know a couple "goof balls" in neurosurgery residencies - again DO match enabled. I know these guys very well. Because of this, I would go as far as to say that at some point, the increased opportunities for DO students aspiring to high skill highly competitive fields becomes dangerous. I wouldn't send my worst enemy to these guys. What does that say about the programs they are in? Scary.

pss. In the first month of my MS-IV year, I did an ICU rotation. There was another 4th year student on service with me who was the best student I've ever come across - by far! She had a knowledge base greater than the PGY-II on with us. She was kind, pleasant and funny. One of her classmates told me she was near the top of her class academically. Incidentally, she was an MD student who was hoping to match into Ortho. We ended up keeping in touch and she ended up not matching into ortho that year (she did a year later). Let me tell you...it's hard to understand why someone like that didn't match in the MD match when there are comparatively inferior students matching ortho in the DO match. Sort of sucks. After all, we're all in this together and I want the best possible (regardless of title) orthopod taking care of my Mom when she fractures her hip some day. Thankfully, she stuck with it and matched a year later!!
 

Buckeye4life

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Would you mind saying what programs these people matched into? Thanks.

3. What's left are mediocre (or worse) programs picking from a twice-picked-over group of good DO students. Look, I realize it's anecdotal but I know several current DO residents who would have NEVER EVER been able to do ortho without the DO match because they were mediocre students. Guess what - they ain't training at the top spots either. On the flip side, I've got an old classmate and friend of mine training at one of the better DO ortho sites. In fact, the program itself will become dually accredited next year. That's always a good sign as the MD accreditation standards are more stringent than the our own. This guy was top of the class, super friendly, super smart - he would have matched anywhere (MD or DO) based on his numbers, letters, and what not.
 

VALSALVA

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Ok I realize im just a naive premed student who doesnt know any better but if your a DO then what would be the benefit of matching in a MD residency? If you did match MD you would still keep the DO title right? I just dont understand what the big deal is, please someone enlighten me.
 

TexasTriathlete

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Ok I realize im just a naive premed student who doesnt know any better but if your a DO then what would be the benefit of matching in a MD residency? If you did match MD you would still keep the DO title right? I just dont understand what the big deal is, please someone enlighten me.
Well, a lot of people on this board fail to understand that there are some excellent osteopathic residency programs out there, in pretty much every specialty you can imagine.

However...

1. There aren't enough for all DO students, so many will enter the allopathic match.

2. There are a lot of allopathic residency programs that will train you very well. I think we all want good training.

I think that, at this point, we should all just admit that we don't know **** about residency programs, and cross that bridge when we come to it. Eventually, we will all do clinical rotations, and we will start to get a better feel for exactly what we want to go into, and what we should be looking for in a residency program. As of right now, I am keeping my options open, and I will gladly enter the DO match if I have a chance to land a good program in my specialty of choice. To be honest, the only thing I know about osteopathic residency programs is that the surgery program at Doctor's Hospital in Ohio is top-notch. That's it.
 

yaba

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It sounds to me that people who want to match MD instead of DO are doing it maybe because they really want to be MD's instead. I mean you if you made a choice to go this route then why even take the USMLE, if everything is equivalent then I just dont understand. Im not really buying the fact that people are trying to match MD because of lack of room, im sure theres not that many MD residencies so are MD's trying to match DO as well. It just seems as if some DO students feel there is a certain prestige that goes along with MD and that seems to be there main motivation. Then again I really dont know much and this is just my opinion from the outside looking in.
 

yaba

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To use EM as an example, since the OP is interested in this:

1. All DO EM residencies are 4 years long; most MD residencies are 3 years long.

2. Only a few DO residencies are at level I trauma centers; a vast majority of MD residencies are at level I trauma center.

To answer your other question: The degree you receive in medical school is just a degree (like getting a BA vs. BS.) It has nothing to do with your medical licensure and board certification. You are eligible for any specialty with either degree, but the degree won't change.
Ok it kind of makes sense now, I could see peoples reasons for going that route. Thanks for the info guys
 

Lamborghini1315

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I don't wanna make another thread, so here is my question, If I wanna match into an MD residency only, can I just focus on doing well on the USMLEs and just doing enough to pass the COMLEXes??? Will this be frown upon? Will the admission director of those MD residencies care about my COMLEX scores?
If you submit your USMLE scores to allopathic programs, they won't give a damn about your comlex scores, while AOA doesn't accept USMLE scores. Remember you are suppose to pass COMLEX to move on to your rotations..but if you intend to go the allopathic route your goal would be to do well enough to fall around the range of scores that get accepted into your desired field. So its relative when people say they will go into the allopathic match you don't need a 240 to match into peds, er blah blah...
 

Lamborghini1315

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It sounds to me that people who want to match MD instead of DO are doing it maybe because they really want to be MD's instead. I mean you if you made a choice to go this route then why even take the USMLE, if everything is equivalent then I just dont understand. Im not really buying the fact that people are trying to match MD because of lack of room, im sure theres not that many MD residencies so are MD's trying to match DO as well. It just seems as if some DO students feel there is a certain prestige that goes along with MD and that seems to be there main motivation. Then again I really dont know much and this is just my opinion from the outside looking in.
The goal for every medical student is to become the best doc they possibly can..have a positive outlook!! Our degrees have nothing to do with residency training..when there are not enough quality residency programs and spots available,people are forced to go into the ACGME match. This is not about status or some kinda of an ego boost..keep an open mind my friend you play your cards and if you have the stats to match at a place that will train you to be proficient in your field heck why wouldn't you choose that program? No one says AOA lacks great programs but they lack quantity and when there are more DO graduates than the programs available to them..what you expect? Alright hope this made sense.
 

TexasTriathlete

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It sounds to me that people who want to match MD instead of DO are doing it maybe because they really want to be MD's instead. I mean you if you made a choice to go this route then why even take the USMLE, if everything is equivalent then I just dont understand. Im not really buying the fact that people are trying to match MD because of lack of room, im sure theres not that many MD residencies so are MD's trying to match DO as well. It just seems as if some DO students feel there is a certain prestige that goes along with MD and that seems to be there main motivation. Then again I really dont know much and this is just my opinion from the outside looking in.
I think that a lot of the pre-meds who want to match MD specialties really want to be MD's. A lot of the actual DO's who want to match MD specialties probably just want the best training they can get, and they have identified allopathic programs that they feel will provide that.
 

yaba

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I think I got it now, thanks for the feedback guys but if I may ask one more question. How are the comlex and the uslme compare to the MCAT in difficulty? I feel that the MCAT test your reasoning skills more than your content. Do you feel that your MCAT score is indicative to how you will do on your boards or in medical school all together?
 

VALSALVA

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I think I got it now, thanks for the feedback guys but if I may ask one more question. How are the comlex and the uslme compare to the MCAT in difficulty? I feel that the MCAT test your reasoning skills more than your content. Do you feel that your MCAT score is indicative to how you will do on your boards or in medical school all together?
The following came out of the mouth of the biggest "in" pre-clinical professor at my medical school. He's been writing COMLEX and USMLE questions for years:
"The most important indicator of performance on Step I is performance on the MCAT."

I don't think this guy was bull-shi#tin'. Steps II and III...I don't know.
 

scdocusc

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according to the WVCOM admission study he's wrong. only one part of the MCAT correlates to boards but overall, the MCAT is not a predictor of step I. It's GPA.
 

RySerr21

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I've looked at some step 1 stuff, and its a **** ton to learn, but at least its interesting. I found very little on the MCAT to be particularly interesting.
thats my problem. i could care less about 95% of the things i am learning for the MCAT. i am just praying for a lot of physiology on the bio section.
 

VALSALVA

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according to the WVCOM admission study he's wrong. only one part of the MCAT correlates to boards but overall, the MCAT is not a predictor of step I. It's GPA.
Gotta source. I'm interested in seeing that study.

Although I don't deny the existance of said study, it's hard to believe GPA could predict board scores given the GIGANTIC discrepancies in grade inflation, cirricullum rigor, chosen major(s), etc. etc. between schools. Unless the study looked a people who all came from the same undergrad and took the same classes. Otherwise, how could they overcome all of those confounders??
 

Ki45toryu

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I've looked at some step 1 stuff, and its a **** ton to learn, but at least its interesting. I found very little on the MCAT to be particularly interesting.
You'll find it is all relative...because just like in undergrad, there will be topics you enjoy to study, and topics you don't.

The best point to the USMLE and COMLEX though is that a lot of the info will be seen in multiple classes....so depending on the program you are in, you may see board-like material multiple times from multiple angles.
 

Lamborghini1315

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You'll find it is all relative...because just like in undergrad, there will be topics you enjoy to study, and topics you don't.

The best point to the USMLE and COMLEX though is that a lot of the info will be seen in multiple classes....so depending on the program you are in, you may see board-like material multiple times from multiple angles.
MCATS didn't test all the knowledge i acquired in college infact it hardly even scratched the surface of half of the upper science divisions you take. On the contrary, boards will test every area of medicine covered in the first 2 years of medical school. Don't fall under the trap of test taking ability to push you over the edge..boards are actually the first real test of our careers.
 

Marthea007

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It sounds to me that people who want to match MD instead of DO are doing it maybe because they really want to be MD's instead. I mean you if you made a choice to go this route then why even take the USMLE, if everything is equivalent then I just dont understand. Im not really buying the fact that people are trying to match MD because of lack of room, im sure theres not that many MD residencies so are MD's trying to match DO as well. It just seems as if some DO students feel there is a certain prestige that goes along with MD and that seems to be there main motivation. Then again I really dont know much and this is just my opinion from the outside looking in.
I know that at least for some of the people in my class, a part of why they going to do the MD match is because of location. They'd like to live in a certain area and there's no DO residency in their desired specialty in that area so they're going to apply MD. As for me I don't really care where I end up and I just want to do FP so I'm not going to do the MD match.
 

yaba

10+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2008
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Status
Pre-Medical
For those of you who are doing clinicals or doing residencies have you ever felt any discrimination from either staff or fellow doctors that are MD's or does the whole MD vs DO thing go away when you graduate college. Is it just pre-meds making a bigger deal then it actually is?
 

Gpan

10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2007
676
59
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Attending Physician
Does anyone know where I can find the lists of all the MD and DO residency locations? I wanna compare the availability of some specialties.
 

scdocusc

10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2006
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I"m not going to post the link for fear that I will get the link post wrong. However, the article is in JAOA • Vol 104 • No 8 • August 2004 • 332-336. I did get a bit of the info wrong. The year 1 and 2 GPA's are shown to strongly correlate with COMLEX scores and not undergraduate GPA's.
 

VALSALVA

**** or get off the pot
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
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Attending Physician
I"m not going to post the link for fear that I will get the link post wrong. However, the article is in JAOA • Vol 104 • No 8 • August 2004 • 332-336. I did get a bit of the info wrong. The year 1 and 2 GPA's are shown to strongly correlate with COMLEX scores and not undergraduate GPA's.
Uh...yeah...just a bit.

Thanx!
 

scpod

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2005
3,241
124
Status
Attending Physician
....The year 1 and 2 GPA's are shown to strongly correlate with COMLEX scores and not undergraduate GPA's.
I'm not surprised by that. One of our deans, when he's not busy writing 150 eleven-page dean's letters, spends tons of his time studying board scores and comparing them to every item under the sun. He's found very little correlation in either undergrad GPA or MCAT score to board scores with our classes. Class rank is pretty positively correlated, but our PBL scores are even better. In fact, our fourth semester PBL grades have an incredibly good correlation with board scores thus far; they're the best indicator of all.