DO or MD 2

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Stephen, Jun 6, 1999.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    I decided to post this as a new topic, because I am going in a slightly different direction with my question.

    I just did some shadowing with some MD physicians and am planning to do some more shadowing with DO physicians. One thing I noticed in the family practice clinic was that a lot of persons came in with physical pains in their legs, feet or other parts of their body. The best that the doctors could do was to refer them to a specialist and prescibe some pain-killers.

    One thing that appeals about the DO profession is the hands on therapy. Often many of the patients the doctor I was with could only prescribe pain medications.

    Is the manipulative medicine a very important additive benefit of osteopaths that would really make one want to be an osteopath. On the last MD or DO topic, no person mentioned OMT. I take that as a sign that many DO's don't value OMT.

    I am curious to hear different views.


     
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  3. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    The answer to your question is, "it depends." The fact of the matter is that it is possible to cruise through DO school and invest very little time or energy in understanding osteopathic principles and practice. It is also possible to take advantage of an opportunity to hone skills that, I believe, will help you take care of sick people better. OMT does seem to be helpful for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and might offer nonspecific therapeutic effects for other kinds of medical problems. As you pointed out, at the very least, DO's have an extra dimension of conservative care to offer their patients before throwing pills at them or sending them off to a tree surgeon (aka orthopod).

    Here's a secret you'll discover if you elect to go the DO route: Manual medicine is relatively easy to learn, but hard to master. It takes practice, patience, and a degree of dexterity and skill not unlike what is required to be a surgeon. Not everyone has the "hands" to be a surgeon and similarly not everyone can practice OMT competently.

    Moreover, in the "real world" some DO's find it difficult to integrate OMT into their practices because of the time constraints and the billing hassles of managed care. The DO you shadow might not use OMT at all or, more typically, may only feel confident about 3 or 4 techniques and just sort of mix them up for different patients. OMT doesn't make sense in all specialties: The chair of our pathology department is a DO and does no OMT---thank God!

    Some DO students view manipulation as a mere appendage to their medical education, others really strive to master it, and some just realize that they're not any good at it. Finally, the osteopathic approach to patient care means different things to different people. Some see it strictly in terms of comprehensive primary care, others as a holistic view of health and disease, some see it as a reform movement in American medicine, and others as an independent form of health care with manual medicine at its core. It all depends. It takes all kinds.
     
  4. OsteoDOC

    OsteoDOC Member

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    I second what drusso said....

    Just remember, that like anything else in life..medical school...be it osteopathic medicine or allopathic medicine... is what YOU make of it.

    One last thing...

    Osteopathic Medicine is more than just OMT. There is a philosophy based on the teachings of A. T. Still, M.D. who started the study of Osteopathy over 100 years ago. If you haven't already, do a little research and see for yourself.

    Brandon Atkinson, D.O.
     
  5. DrWBD

    DrWBD Formerly 'wanna_be_do'
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    If you want to learn about osteopathy by shadowing a DO, find one who is an FAAO (Fellow, American Academy of Osteopathy). Not every osteopathic physician incorporates OMT into his/her practice.
     
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    I really appreciate all your replies. I am becomming more and more convinced of the value of OMT. Thank you for replying and going into depth drusso. It is nice to hear from people who really believe in the value of OMT.

    One hurdle to the DO route for myself is that I went to UNE recently and found out that during the clinical years, one should expect to be away atleast 6-8 months for clinical training. I am wrestling with how to do this and also have a partner. They told me the largest reason for students not matriculating at UNE is because of this part of the clinical training. If I went to my local med school, I could do most of my clinical training in my area. My partnership is extremely important, and now we are finally open to the possibility of my going to med school.

    Is it feasible to learn OMT as an MD?

    Yes, thank you OsteoDoc for reminding me of the different philosophies. The Osteopathic philosophy is what first attracted me to osteopathy in the first place.

    Thank you wanna_be_doc for the reference. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of DO's in my area. I spent some time talking to a DO whose only practice is OMT. Unfortunately, he said there wouldn't be much for me to see because he does cranial-sacral therapy which is very subtle. I have some other leads, but it may mean some driving for me.

    Also any thoughts on good schools that incorporate OMT into the training. I know UNE emphasizes OMT and so does Kirksville.

    I really am grateful for all your relies. Thank you.
    -Stephen
     
  7. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Yes, it is possible to learn OMT as an MD. Phil Greenman, DO in Michigan and a group in San Francisco lead the pack in offering continuing medical education in OMT to DO's, MD's, PT's, and OT's.

    http://www.wenet.net/~sfimms/

    The problem is that your career only accelerates the further along you get in medicine. As a friend of mine who recently finished residency summed, "Studying medicine is an ever increasing slide into knowledge, responsibility, and debt..." It's unlikely that you'll have the time or energy to do much "on the side" once you finish medical school.

    I can sympathesize with your feelings about being away from family/loved ones for rotations. Most DO schools scatter their students to the wind for the third and fourth years. Like everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to this "training model." It is something I would factor into the equation, but I'd be careful not to overweigh it. It might actually help prepare you and your significant other for what a residency lifestyle might look like down the line. As someone who has been negotiating a long-distance relationship for the last 2 years I can assure you that abscence really does make the heart grow fonder... [​IMG]
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    Thank you all and especially drusso for your relies.

    -Stephen
     
  9. ReneeWB

    ReneeWB Senior Member

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    Stephen,

    I will be a first year at UNECOM this August. I am married with three kids and so am also concerned about what will happen during the 3rd and 4th years. I asked specifically about this in my interview. I was told that most students with families choose to stay in one location for all their clinical rotations. I was also told that this is generally possible. While sites are assigned in a lottery system, there is a lot of comradery in the classes. If you don't get the site you want, a lot of times someone who has no relationship ties may switch with you. I agree with what someone earlier said that you shouldn't let this aspect deter you from attending the school of your choice (provided, of course, that they offer you a spot).

    I wish you all the best in your future.

    Renee
     
  10. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    Thank you ReneeWB. I just visited UNECOM a few weeks ago. I had a very positive impression of the school. From talking to the admissions director, I had a sense that I could get in provided I did well on my MCAT's. Yet, she did say that the clinical years often mean that a student will be traveling a lot. Thanks for the encouragement and the hope.
     
  11. Josh

    Josh Junior Member

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    Renee! Stephen! Finally I have found people who are familiar with UNECOM. Congrats Renee. Nice work. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how it went.
    Stephen, what did you think of the school? I liked and had a good impression that I could get in, (hopefully). I just have to take this dreaded test. I hope you are still on, I am interested in hearing what you thought about the university.
     
  12. ReneeWB

    ReneeWB Senior Member

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    Josh,

    I know you were specifically asking for Stephen's input about the school. But I thought I'd give you my impression. I visited the school last August to see whether I really thought it was a place I would feel comfortable. I also visited with Lisa Lacroix Lane (I assume that is who Stephen met with too) in the admissions office. I needed some improvement on my MCAT, but other than that she said my credentials looked good. The campus is beautiful, right by the ocean. I took a tour with some undergrad students and was very impressed with what I saw. Unfortunately I did not get to see a lot of the science building as I had to leave early. So, my first look at that was in January when I had my interview. Wow -- was I impressed! The Alfond building has state of the art equipment, and the first year students who showed us around were SO excited about their school it was hard not to be excited also. I left there thinking that if I didn't get in, I would just die. [​IMG] Okay, so not that extreme, but I knew UNE was definitely the place I wanted to go. I think UNECOM is one of the best kept secrets in the medical community. You will notice that there aren't many people on this site even that are going there. I don't put a lot of stock in rankings, but UNE did rank in the US News and World Report Best Medical Schools for Primary Care (#50).

    By the way, I don't think either you or Stephen mentioned where you live now. Are you New England residents? Just wondering as that improves your chances of admission a whole lot. However, I was a Texas resident when I applied, but I had moved to Vermont by the time I interviewed.

    Good luck to you.

    Renee
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Member

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    Dear Stephen/Josh,

    My name is Matt and I will be a first year with Renee at UNECOM this august. I too was very impressed with UNECOM's facilities. The science building and lecture halls are unmatched. The location is perfect...on the ocean and only 15 minutes from Portland, ME (an excellent city). I would be happy to answer any of your questions regarding the application process or about the school in general. I wish you both the best of luck! Take care.

    Matt

    P.S. Its great to see some more posts about UNECOM on this board. I agree with Renee when she states that UNECOM is one of the best kept medical secrets in the US!
     
  14. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member

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    An MD can also learn OMT from the AAO, Ursa Foundation (bearonline.com), Upledger Institute (upledger.com) and Kessler Institute in W. Orange, NJ. MSU has had a long waitlist in recent years. There is an overlap between some of the instructors, including the SF int'l group.

    Greenman does very little teaching these days, though his videos are helpful, particularly for review.

    Excluding the gushing enthusiasm of some of the posters, I will state that UNECOM students are consistently the most satisfied with their school and have the fewest complaints. If I had to do it over, I would have gone there in a heartbeat.

    Having finished DO school after spending 24 months of moving every 4-8 weeks for rotations, I can say that it was one of the aspects of osteopathic school that was most unsettling. Often, the housing was horrific, food barely edible and mail frequently returned to sender because one's name was not familiar. Constantly having to adapt to new hospitals, systems for labs/charting/policies and other personal quirks was a strain. No one said that it would be easy.
     
  15. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member

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    i too liked unecom a whole lot and had a very very hard time turning them down. In the end the deciding factor was having to move around in the third and fourth years. I just did not want to have to do rotations in ohio, newyork, new jersey, PA, etc. When i interviewed there, there was realy only one hospital actually IN maine at which UNECOM students rotated at. Perhaps this has changed, but this was probably the sole reason why i decided not to go there (i was very fortunate in having some options).

    I really liked the students, loved the location, was impressed with the facilities (esp anatomy facilities-lockerooms and showers!).

    I think their OM is very strong (much more than CCOM's-my school). I went to this years AMSA convention and sat in on a OM seminar. The seminar, given mostly by UNECOM students, was attended by 80-100 MD students curious about OM. The UNECOM students definately knew their stuff and could communicate what they were doing to a room full of people.

    Once in a blue moon, i wonder if i made the right decision in turning them down.
     
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  17. ReneeWB

    ReneeWB Senior Member

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    In talking with a student at UNECOM who is getting ready to start his clinical clerkships, I learned that there are approximately 45 spots for students who want to stay in Maine. For a class of approximately 100 (I don't know the exact number) this means that only slightly over half of the students will have to leave Maine for rotations. As I stated earlier, I was told in my interview that it is entirely possible to stay in one location for both 3rd and 4th years (while this location may not be in Maine), thus necessitating only one move.
    It sure is nice to hear some great things being said about UNECOM!

    Renee
     
  18. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    Renee,
    If you were able to land in one of those 45 spots, could you stay in Maine for your clinical years?

    Yes, I did meet with Lisa and I am from Vermont. I had an extremely positive feeling about the school. I sensed that the school really emphasizes OMT, which especially apealed to me. The facilities were awesome! In addition the school is next to the ocean which is a plus! I didn't get a chance to talk to students, but Lisa seemed to emphasize that they have a very active spouse organization that provides support to significant others. It seems that UNECOM wants to help not only the students deal with medical school but also the families.

    The only thing that turned me off about the school was that Lisa told me that I should expect to be away for at least 6 months doing required rotations at other places. I had the impression that certain rotations are required at certain hospitals. Like jdassbo mentioned, rotations are in many different locations. Lisa did say the the main reason students begin their medical degree at UNECOM and stop is because of the clinical years.

    Renee and Matthew, I would to hear more about the clinical aspect of training at UNECOM as you learn more. Congradulations on being accepted! Good luck Josh on getting in.

    Thank you prefontaine for the info!

    Thank you again everybody. It is so nice to hear such enthusiasm!
     
  19. ReneeWB

    ReneeWB Senior Member

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    Stephen,

    Where in Vermont are you from? I live in Putney which is about 15 minutes north of Brattleboro. I am not originally from Vermont (grew up in Florida), but I love it here. It is so beautiful! I have to agree that UNE's campus and that part of Maine is beautiful also.

    It was my understanding in talking with the second year student I spoke with that he would be doing all of clinicals in Maine. I will drop him a line and see what he says.

    Renee
     
  20. ReneeWB

    ReneeWB Senior Member

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    Okay, here is the scoop on the 3rd and 4th years at UNECOM. I just got a reply from my friend up there who is getting ready to start his 3rd year.

    Rotations at UNECOM are divided into 3 categories; CORES, selectives, and
    electives.

    CORES (42 total weeks. These are basically your MS-3 year rotations). The school tells you what rotations, where and when you'll take them. This is done by a class lottery process. ME is one of the CORE sites. This years class had 30 out of 113 CORES slots in ME. (I was a little off on the number I quoted earlier) If you don't like where you get assigned, you can always try to switch with someone else.

    Selectives (16 total weeks). The school tells you what to take. You pick where and when.

    Electives (20 total weeks). You pick what, where and when (subject to school's approval).

    So if you get ME as your CORE site you can conceivably do all of your rotations in ME. The same thing goes for WHEREVER you do your initial CORE stuff. If you want to stay there for the remainder you most likely can. It's up to you and how you set up and arrange your selectives and electives.

    Hope this helps those of you that had questions. The way it was explained to me in my interview is that a lot of people jump around during these months because they want to try out as many different places as possible. However, this does not have to be the case. It is unfortunate that people interested in UNE are being told that they MUST move around so much. I'm sure some people have decided to go elsewhere because of this.

    Renee
     
  21. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    Thank you Renee.

    I live in Underhill, Vermont. It is about 45 min east of Burlington. It is such a nice area to live in. Even though I thought UNE was beautiful, it is hard to compare with Vermont! It is too bad that I haven't found any NHSC scholarships for the Vermont area.

    Thanks for the information about UNECOM. It does sound posible to stay in Maine, but I would guess that most people would want to do their clinicals in Maine. I sure wouldn't want to be placed in New Jersey. I can't think of very many people who would want to live there. My partner would go nuts! I guess we have been living in Vermont too long!

    Thank you for all the information.

    Peace,
    -Stephen
     
  22. Josh

    Josh Junior Member

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    Renee, Steven.
    This is all good news to me. I really don't mind traveling for my residencies, since I really have nothing to keep me hear. I hope I get in to UNECOM. I too met with Lisa, and she told me that I was an excellent applicant to the school. I am starting to get worried that they tell everybody that. At any rate, its my first choice. I haven't taken the test yet, and I am not ashamed to admit to you guys that some of the science on the test was not my favorite material. I did well enough in all my required courses, but I am having a hard time recalling all my info. Oh, well. I am working on it every night, (which is why I am not able to get back to you as quickly as I should.
    Renee, can I ask you a couple of personal questions? Since you are know who I want to be, I want to be able to compare myself to a successful applicant. What was your G.P.A. ? How about your MCAT? Just curious, I am looking for a little inspiration here. I am very concerned about this test. I am not always very good at standardized tests. However, I also don't want to let that stop me from reaching my dreams.
    Steven, thanks. Good luck to you as well. You sound like an intelligent guy who knows what he wants, I am sure you'll be fine. Have you taken the MCAT yet? Did you take a course????
    Hopefully I'll take to you people later tonight, bye.
     
  23. Josh

    Josh Junior Member

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    I have three spelling mistakes above. This is because of the crazy hours I have been pulling at the hospital. I am always so tired. It is really effecting my MCAT studying. Well, enough making excuses, bye.
     
  24. miglo

    miglo Senior Member

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    Renee do tell us what your stats are, if you don't mind.
     
  25. ReneeWB

    ReneeWB Senior Member

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    I really hate to post my stats, but if you guys want to e-mail me, I don't mind telling you. My e-mail address is [email protected]

    Renee
     
  26. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    Josh,

    No, I haven't taken the MCAT yet. I am planning on taking it in August. I am also not taking a preparation course. In fact, I am a little at a disadvantage because I will be taking Organic Chem this summer and will finish just before the test, so I won't have a lot of time to catch up on the other subjects. Yet, I feel pretty confident. I, too, am studying now. Good luck to you.

    Good luck Renee and thanks to all who posted.

    -Stephen
     
  27. Matthew

    Matthew Member

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    Dear Josh,

    I would laso be wiling to answer any questions you have regarding MCAT, gps's etc. Just drop me a line via email when you get a chance. Good luck studying and try and relax! Take care.

    MATT
    UNECOM '03
     
  28. Kristen

    Kristen Junior Member

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    Hi Renee and Matt,

    I'm now certain that I will be heading to UNE, in fact, I'm headed across country on Friday. It's a long move - Seattle to Maine. I'm really looking forward to starting school. It's really coming up quickly. When are you guys going to be in the area? I'm planning on arriving about a week before classes start - the last week in July. I've put off a housing search due to my slight uncertainty, but that will begin that week as well. See you in a few weeks!
     
  29. DOGBOY2

    DOGBOY2 Junior Member

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    If you want to get the best clinical training I would think leaving Maine or Vermont would be to your advantage, especially if you have no family considerations. I just don't here of future doctors rushing to Northern New England to do rotations during their 3rd and 4th year, regardless of how beautiful it is
     
  30. jasonz

    jasonz New Member

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    Hi Kristen,
    I am glad that my friend gave me this website address. I was beginning to think that I was the only incoming 1st year UNECOM student who hasn't begun looking for an apartment yet. I am planning on moving up there the week before school begins but I am hoping to get up there for a few days starting tomorrow to look for an apartment. Well, I have to get back to searching the web for apartments. Good luck and I'm sure I'll talk to you soon.

    Jason
     
  31. scoren

    scoren Member

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    Hey Kristen,

    So you made up your mind on UNECOM, congrats. I remember talking to you about waiting to hear from the UW. Did you tell them you were applying to DO schools in the interview? Have a safe trip out to Maine, I must admit that I would love to be there to see Autumn come and go. It was hot and humid coming out to Iowa from Bellingham!

    Scott
    UOMHS '03

     

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