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Dr. AK

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I have looked through this forum, and sad to say that I do not see much about DO/PhD programs. That aside, however, what do you all think is the best DO/PhD program in the country?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
 

MahlerROCKS

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I have looked through this forum, and sad to say that I do not see much about DO/PhD programs. That aside, however, what do you all think is the best DO/PhD program in the country?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

The problem with osteopathic schools is that may of them are new and do not have a history of receiving a large number of NIH grants; the second problem is that most DO schools are free-standing institutions that are not part of a larger university, and hence do not have a lot of opportunities to work in different labs. These issues result in DO/PhD programs not being as thorough, or competitive, as their MD/PhD counterparts--that's not to say all MD/PhD programs are excellent, but rather that there is a hierarchy of combined degree programs:
1. MSTP programs--well funded programs at large universities with many different research opportunities; these programs have been perfected so as to maximize the interactions of the MD and PhD curriculums
2. Non-MSTP schools that offer full funding for all years of the program, and have many different departments and labs allowing for various opportunities in different fields of research. In some programs the curriculums interact with each other, while in others there is no mainstreaming between the MD section of one's education and their PhD portion
3. Schools that do not offer full funding and/or have a small number of labs and research opportunities, thus making it difficult for students to be exposed to different research fields and to find their ideal lab to do their thesis in
All DO/PhD, and quite a few MD/PhD programs, fall into category three: its not an issue of DO vs. MD, but rather the funding and breadth of research available at a school.

My opinion of the top DO/PhD programs:
1.UMDNJ-Osteopathic: they have a full funded program for all years of the program, but they only offer a PhD in cell biology
2.University of North Texas: they have been receiving a very large amount of NIH grants annually for the past several years. UNT has a long history of granting DO/PhD's, and they also have many labs, thus many more opportunities in terms of fields and labs to do your PhD in
3.Michigan State: the oldest DO/PhD program; its affiliated with one of the largest universities in the country. However, they require GREs, and don't offer funding the first two years
4. Oklahoma State: relatively new program, but they have several research programs. Don't offer full funding the first two years, but they don't require the GREs if you score over a 30 on the MCAT
5. Ohio University: doesn't offer funding the first two years, and requires the GREs. For regularly DO, non-Ohio residents have to sign a contract to serve in Ohio for I believe 5 years--I don't know if this applies to DO/PhDs too
 

Dr. AK

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The problem with osteopathic schools is that may of them are new and do not have a history of receiving a large number of NIH grants; the second problem is that most DO schools are free-standing institutions that are not part of a larger university, and hence do not have a lot of opportunities to work in different labs. These issues result in DO/PhD programs not being as thorough, or competitive, as their MD/PhD counterparts--that's not to say all MD/PhD programs are excellent, but rather that there is a hierarchy of combined degree programs:
1. MSTP programs--well funded programs at large universities with many different research opportunities; these programs have been perfected so as to maximize the interactions of the MD and PhD curriculums
2. Non-MSTP schools that offer full funding for all years of the program, and have many different departments and labs allowing for various opportunities in different fields of research. In some programs the curriculums interact with each other, while in others there is no mainstreaming between the MD section of one's education and their PhD portion
3. Schools that do not offer full funding and/or have a small number of labs and research opportunities, thus making it difficult for students to be exposed to different research fields and to find their ideal lab to do their thesis in
All DO/PhD, and quite a few MD/PhD programs, fall into category three: its not an issue of DO vs. MD, but rather the funding and breadth of research available at a school.

My opinion of the top DO/PhD programs:
1.UMDNJ-Osteopathic: they have a full funded program for all years of the program, but they only offer a PhD in cell biology
2.University of North Texas: they have been receiving a very large amount of NIH grants annually for the past several years. UNT has a long history of granting DO/PhD's, and they also have many labs, thus many more opportunities in terms of fields and labs to do your PhD in
3.Michigan State: the oldest DO/PhD program; its affiliated with one of the largest universities in the country. However, they require GREs, and don't offer funding the first two years
4. Oklahoma State: relatively new program, but they have several research programs. Don't offer full funding the first two years, but they don't require the GREs if you score over a 30 on the MCAT
5. Ohio University: doesn't offer funding the first two years, and requires the GREs. For regularly DO, non-Ohio residents have to sign a contract to serve in Ohio for I believe 5 years--I don't know if this applies to DO/PhDs too


Thanks for writing, but I must say some of your facts are incorrect.

1- UMDNJ-SOM does not have funding for the first two years (this is a new policy)
2- MSU COM does have funding for the first two years (all seven actually), and does allow you to rotate in all of the labs that are a part of MSU (this has always been the case)

I am not sure about some of your other statements, but I know those that I mentioned were inaccurate.

Your point about Osteopathic Medical schools not having funding is also a bit misinformed. For example, MSU COM, and its affiliated University, receive more then $80 million on average from the NIH (more then most MD/PhD schools). COM is also a part of the one of the largest academic institutions, as you noted, in the US (and perhaps the world) and one of the best (in the US and the world, ranked 60, I believe). Also at MSU is the opportunity to work in every single lab in the College of Natural Sciences, which is, as you can imagine, quite a bit.

Thanks for writing, and giving the criteria upon which good physician-scientist training programs must stand.
 
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MahlerROCKS

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Sorry, I didn't know some of those facts were incorrect: I wasn't aware that UMDNJ just changed their policy, or that MSU offers full funding. MSU does not have the best website, thus all I know about the program is based on hearsay. Its exciting though that they do offer full funding; MSU has a lot of opportunities
 

Dr. AK

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Sorry, I didn't know some of those facts were incorrect: I wasn't aware that UMDNJ just changed their policy, or that MSU offers full funding. MSU does not have the best website, thus all I know about the program is based on hearsay. Its exciting though that they do offer full funding; MSU has a lot of opportunities


Thanks again, and I appreciate your post.
 

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Thanks again, and I appreciate your post.

I thought the difference between DO and MD programs was Do's teaching and use of alternative medicine. Maybe there is a philosophical difference as well.
Given those differences, and that the philosophy of the MD training is evidence-based medicine, why would you want to do a PhD in a science-related field and a DO?

Or do you want a PhD in a non-science field?
 

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Please don't confuse DO with alternative medicine. DOs practice the same standard medical care as MDs. We also learn OMM, which is similar to the methods of physical therapy...certainly not alternative medicine. :)
 

gbwillner

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Please don't confuse DO with alternative medicine. DOs practice the same standard medical care as MDs. We also learn OMM, which is similar to the methods of physical therapy...certainly not alternative medicine. :)

sorry for the ignorance. So DO is MD + physical therapy??
 

Dr. AK

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I am actually very much interested in basic science, and I look forward to doing research that has medical applications. My first rotations as a DO/PhD student will be with a nationally renowned geneticist, Andy Amalfitano, DO, PhD.

I have included a link to his bio below, should you wish to see how much we DOs love basic science.

http://www.com.msu.edu/communique/fall2001/amalfitanto.htm
 

neuro85

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Any updates on which schools offer full funding? Is MSU the only one? Does North Texas offer full funding after the first two years?
Thanks Everyone!!
 
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