DO degree for military medicine

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Nylesor, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Nylesor

    Nylesor Member
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    Just wanted the opinion of people in this forum on Osteopathic Medicine in Military Medicine. If I don't get into USUHS, I'm really leaning toward DO schools. I've heard some good things, such as OMT being used to alleviate pain without medication, which would be beneficial as a flight surgeon since the pilots wouldn't lose flight time. Opinions?
     
  2. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel
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    I think the military is great for DO's. I personally know one who went into optho, one into ortho and one into urology, all of which are pretty competitive on the outside. As far as the rubbing my back so I could still fly, I don't see you getting many takers on that in the ready-room, unless, on the off-chance, you happen to resemble, say, Jennifer Garner?!

    Good luck on the application thing!


    spang
     
  3. Nylesor

    Nylesor Member
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    Well, I've gotten Michelle Rodriguez and Angelina Jolie. Will that do? ;)
     
  4. Informer

    Informer Senior Member
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    I actually know Henry Lau, the current USAF Thunderbirds flight surgeon, who is also an osteopathic physician. He uses OMT on a daily basis
     
  5. Nylesor

    Nylesor Member
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    Wow. That's great! Does that mean military physicians don't have the time constraints that would limit use of OMT?
     
  6. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    No time constraints. You can work all night if you so desire. Remember that time constraints may limit your involvement with patients but they also allow you to see other patients in a timely fashion.

    Im not a DO, but many of my friends here at Camp Lejeune are, and the few that practice OMT usually do it as a scheduled appointment not during sick call, unless its an acute issue.

    I guess there are alot of reasons for the large numbers of DOs in the military. But one of the benefits to them is the ease of applying to programs which would typically result in a closed door.

    I dont understand why you are applying only to USUHS and now you are considering applying only to DO schools next year? Why are you not interested in other allopathic programs this year and next?

    As a side note... I do like making fun of my DO friends when they get to talking about treating disease states with OMT, Nothing personal just a friendly MD vs DO thing with my friends. Im the outnumbered one BTW
     
  7. Nylesor

    Nylesor Member
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    I'm applying to both MD and DO schools, but leaning toward DO for the OMT (I like the hands-on stuff). I also love the military and wish there was a military DO school, but since there is none, USUHS will have to do. Basically, USUHS is the only MD school I would pick over DO right now.
     
  8. AFSmiley

    AFSmiley Member
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    I was talking to a retired Army Col. (and DO) a few weeks ago about this same issue. He had quite the career, even sat on the USUHS admissions board for some time. He said DO's do just fine in the military; everybody's a 'Doc'. He also mentioned that Ronald Blanck a DO, recently retired from his last position as Army Surgeon General, is now President of the University of North Texas Health Science Center (TCOM). There you have it folks!!!


    Merry Christmas,
    JMPeffer
     
  9. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    Well to each his own. My advice then would be to forget about USUHS and go to a DO school and if you are set on the military then use HPSP. Allows you more freedom to do what you want.
     
  10. grayce79

    grayce79 Member
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    I thought about DO school as a premed, but was warned against it. Osteopathic medicine has a great philosophy, but you can take that philosophy with you and go to an MD school. All of the DOs I have ever worked with have been excellent. However, there is still a lot of discrimination out there when it comes to residency programs. Some programs will not take DOs (although they would never admit that in public). I think that going to an MD school just gives you more options as far as residency goes.
     
  11. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    Very true in the civilian world. If you are doing your residency in the Military as the OP stated then it simply doesnt matter.
     
  12. Nylesor

    Nylesor Member
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    I've heard about the DO degree limiting you for residencies. I'm not aiming for anything spectacular like dermatology or neurosurgery. Although, I do think it's awesome that DOs and MDs are treated the same in the military and won't play a factor in residencies.
     
  13. ishii123

    ishii123 Member
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    DO the DO! :D
     
  14. ishii123

    ishii123 Member
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    As a DO, there is definitely more opportunity to enter a competitive specialty in the military than the civilian world. I have seen military DO's in derm, rads, ophthalmology, and other competitive fields. I didn't see many DO's in these competitive fields in the civilian world. However, to get into these competitive fields, you still need to achieve great grades at your DO medical school. No programs, not even the military programs, are gonna give you Derm or Rads if you just "pass" your med school classes.

    Medical professionals all know that MD's and DO's study the same medical knowledge and facts in med school, and the only difference is that DO's also study OMT. But the general public does not know that and DO's are so penalized by public stigma. Therefore, I would rather be an M.D. (and I am). Personally, I would hate it if patients kept asking me, "what's a D.O.? Are you a real doctor?".
     
  15. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    Why not? How do you know you won't find that you really like one of those fields during med school?
     
  16. medicine1

    medicine1 Senior Member
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    In the Military I know certain programs only look at USMLEs. Does anyone know if the Wright-State/Wright-Patterson Surgical program looks at both COMLEX and USMLE scores? I know the surgical program in San Antonio, Texas looks only at USMLE scores.
     
  17. grayce79

    grayce79 Member
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    This is not true. It can still matter. One of my friends who is a HPSP DO was asked during one of her military residency interviews "Are you aware that there has never been a DO accepted into this program?" Not a great start to an interview if you are a DO. To say that there is no discrimination against DOs in the military is a false statement. I have personally seen the discrimination. (And it is not in a super-competitive field.) I have heard some of the "higher ups" say that they feel that DOs are inferior. (Of course they would never say this in the open.)
    As I mentioned before, I completely disagree with that statement. I only tell you this to make you aware of the descrimination.
    I have several friends that are DO students who say that in retrospect they would have chosen an MD school. Since many residency programs they applied to required USMLE, they had to take both the USMLE and the COMLEX. (Which is a huge pain.) Also, I think you might find that a small percentage of DOs actually use OMT on a frequent basis. The ones that I have seen using it the most is FPs.
     
  18. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    Im sure some people get discriminated against. But look at the current resident mixture in military vs civilian fields. There are DOs in competitive fields like EM and Ortho at both NMCP and NMCSD. You simply wont find that to the same degree in the civilian world.

    To say that most of your DO friends would have chosen a MD school in retrospect is kind of funny. I mean the majority of people who go to DO schools went there b/c they couldnt get accepted at an Allopathic program.

    I agree with what you say about OMT which is what i stated in my previous post. I was also talking about GMOs that use it here at Lejeune not specialists.

    Personally none of this matters to me because I go on terminal leave in 99 days. Then off to a civilian program.
     
  19. rookiedoctor

    rookiedoctor Junior Member

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    By the way, it might interest you to know that as a DO,not only can you apply to any allopathic program (provided you are willing to take the USMLE) but you can also take the COMLEX and apply to any osteopathic program. twice the tests, maybe, but several of my classmates did it and said it was no big deal. You actually end up with twice the residency options because a DO can get into an allopathic program but it doesn't work the other way around.
    I use OMT whenever I can, and for those MD's that have seen it and understand its uses and implications, it's a great tool for your tool bag. A better way to present it is that it's neuromusculoskeletal medicine and as a DO you will have over 200 hrs of training in this field even before graduation in addition to everything the allopathic schools offer.
    Most MD's I've talked to that are iffy on the whole thing say, "Oh, okay" when I put it that way.
    I am however seeing some discrimination in the residency match program, but not too bad. Texas Tech likes DO's...
     
  20. doc4sure

    doc4sure Member
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    Ditto the above. If you want to feel better about the future, check out the roster of practicing physicians at a few civilian hospitals. DO's in every specialty. If the numbers seem small keep in mind that the % of DO's versus MD's is small. In the long run it's all in the reputation not the initials.
     
  21. USAFGMODOC

    USAFGMODOC Attending physician
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    QUOTE:

    This is not true. It can still matter. One of my friends who is a HPSP DO was asked during one of her military residency interviews "Are you aware that there has never been a DO accepted into this program?"



    I am surprised to hear this in a military program interview, I'd be interested in finding out what program this was....
     
  22. TAbrown

    TAbrown Junior Member
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    I am surprised to hear this in a military program interview, I'd be interested in finding out what program this was....[/QUOTE]


    Osteopathic physicians in the 21st century have their own following. Alternative ways of healing are becoming more and more important for individuals weary of pharmaceuticals. I chose osteopathic medicine over allopathic medicine because of the OMT and the reputation that osteopathic physicians have with their patients, as well as the opportunities that DOs have.

    For those who say that osteopathic physicians are segregated, they should visit the websites of hospitals around the country and see that DOs are in almost every specialty, including CV surgery. Cleveland Clinic, one of the best orthopaedic centers in the world, has orthopaedic surgeons who are osteopathic physicians. When looking at the numbers of DOs in each specialty, one must keep in mind that DOs make up less than 10% of physicians.

    When a physician is "banished" from going into a particular specialty because he/she is a DO, an overriding issue must exist with that physician that holds him/her back.
     
  23. smcc716

    smcc716 Junior Member

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    So you actually think the majority of people who go to DO schools couldn't get into allopathic programs. That's a pretty interesting statement.

    Anyways, if you are interested in osteopathic medicine, you should definitely go to a DO school. Through all of my training so far, I have run into a ton of DO's in the military, and most of them have been pretty important people at that. The military programs take both the COMLEX and USMLE, and if you get deferred there are plenty of osteopathic residency programs in almost all specialties. There are also plenty of allopathic residencies that take the COMLEX as well.

    If you want to be a DO, would you really want to go to a residency that doesn't accept the COMLEX anyways?? That kind of defeats the purpose of what you were doing in the first place.
     
  24. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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  25. Globus P

    Globus P Senior Member
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  26. grayce79

    grayce79 Member
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    I was surprised as well. I would prefer not to specify which program.
     
  27. grayce79

    grayce79 Member
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    I think you have to keep in mind that most of the residency program directors these days trained years ago when that stereotype was present. Therefore, they still believe some of these old school ideas.
     
  28. grayce79

    grayce79 Member
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    First of all, to take twice the exams IS a big deal. It is expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Any test that is 8-9 hours long is to me a big deal.

    Second, I think that it is oversimplifying matters to say that you end up with twice the residency options if you become a DO. Yes, you can apply to both MD and DO residencies, but you will face discrimination in some of the MD residencies and you limit yourself in that way. This is not an issue if you want to do FP or IMED. But if you are considering any surgical specialties, beware!

    I also think that going to the military medical school will limit your options as well. From what I understand, they are required to military residency without an option to defer.

    If I were the average premed student, I would go to an MD civilian school and if I wanted to end up in the military, do the FAP after matching into the desired residency. This leaves you with the most options.

    I lucked out and matched where I wanted in the specialty I wanted. However, I have both USUHS and DO friends who did not get to match in the specialty that they wanted.
     
  29. Globus P

    Globus P Senior Member
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    I agree.
     
  30. Globus P

    Globus P Senior Member
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    I would have replied: "I would like to give you a chance to correct that egregious oversight!" :D
     
  31. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    I also agree.
     
  32. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    I think you also have to consider this regionally as well. Here in the SouthEastern US we have much fewer DOs. The first I had ever heard of osteopathic medicine was when I went to OIS the summer prior to starting med school.
     
  33. ishii123

    ishii123 Member
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    Hey...me too! :laugh:

    Plus, when I applied to med schools, I only applied to MD schools. I didn't know what a DO was...so I didn't bother applying to them.

    While in the military, I have met some good and some bad DOs. But then again, you can say the same thing about MDs.
     
  34. doc4sure

    doc4sure Member
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    I choose a DO school because it was a top 20 primary care school.
    While not the only reason, it was important. The MD schools I was accepted at were sub 20. I also looked at scores and where the latest grads had gained residencies. The DO schools won out here also.
     
  35. TAbrown

    TAbrown Junior Member
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    I chose a DO school over an MD school because of the MBA opportunity that the DO school has and the school's reputation with military medicine HPSP students. When the last of the "prejudice" MDs retire in a few years, DOs will not have as much of a problem with discrimination.
    All in all, the MDs wanted the DOs to combine with them years ago. The DOs did not take up the offer because they liked their own philosophy on medicine, and they already had quite a patient following.
     

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