DO School vs. SMP

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Dec 13, 2022
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Hello everyone, I just needed to seek advice from you guys.
Right now, I am at an iffy situation. I was rejected from all MD schools, and the only interview I got is from Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. Did some research on it and realized the school has more cons than pros.
On the other hand I am currently accepted to Loyola University Chicago MAMS program.
My GPA is 3.09 with strong upward trend (got academic suspension from first school) MCAT of 515.
I have around 12K hours in clinical experiences, 2K in research

My current status is biased towards Loyola more. It may be a stretch but my plan is to be matched as derm, osteo, GI (fellowship), cardiac (fellowship)

This is my understanding of both cases

  • Might get in, and start the school
  • Close to zero research opportunities in the area, I realized the number of publications matter a lot in getting matched to residency.
  • Since BCOM is one of the low tier (this is my opinion, correct me if wrong) DO schools, it would be hard to get a good match in residency
  • Also does DO, or MD matter a lot when getting fellowships?
2) Loyola MAMS
  • Good SMP with high rates of matriculation to MD school
  • Located in Chicago = high amount of research opportunities
  • I will finish with a masters and planning on getting a masters in bioinformatics during my application year after SMP
  • Will push me back for another 2 years
  • If I get admitted to BCOM and attend Loyola and decide to go to Loyola, they might not help me.
    • "Another important factor to consider if you enter MAMS with an active medical school application is that the MAMS program will not support your reapplication to medical school following an acceptance. That is, if you are accepted to a medical school during your MAMS year, or later, but wish to reapply in order to gain admission to a different medical school, MAMS will not provide a letter for that new application. This is to maintain our program's credibility with US medical schools. It would be disingenuous for our faculty to write letters of recommendation to medical schools knowing that the applicant has already been accepted somewhere and has deferred admission in order to reapply. Thus, it is important to be absolutely sure that you wish to apply prior to starting the MAMS program, and that you are absolutely sure you wish to matriculate to any of the schools on your list. "
    • Not sure if they mean if I apply during the SMP year or previous acceptance before SMP is also accounted for.
Thank you all

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I see that you're interested in some very competitive specialties which does create some drawbacks for going DO, but are you absolutely positive that you would kill this SMP?

I know that you have an upward trend, but just keep in mind, almost everyone I know that has gone the SMP route has said it was quite a step up from even their most brutal semester in UG.

If you go to this SMP and underperform, your chances of getting into any medical school become much much lower. Are you confident enough to risk this?
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If I get admitted to BCOM and attend Loyola and decide to go to Loyola, they might not help me.
You might as well ask Loyola if they would be firm with this. Would they tell you to take the BCOM offer? You need their support if you do decide to reapply, and you need to know what that would look like.

You have to realize it's your money and you should go where you are best supported. Both parties want your money so you need to make sure you are fully appreciated wherever you go.
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Burrell is a fast tract to primary care vs the masters gives you a chance to pivot and fix your GPA.

It’s not risk free but bad DO schools will probably still be there when you’re done. I’ve heard they are less picky about declined acceptances than MD schools. (If you get an MD acceptance from and don’t go I know you get blacklisted)
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Go with BCOM. At the end of the day, they're producing physicians. Look at their match lists. @Fluidity of Movement BCOM is not on "accreditation probation". It is accredited with heightened monitoring. Six other schools have that accreditation status. It means "fewer than three standards are non-compliant and ongoing monitoring will occur via progress reporting". Not a big deal. @joodavid12 Be careful, there's a lot of misinformation out there.
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Thank you everyone for the input!
I have considered both of them and decided to do MAMS!
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Jumping off Goro's point, BCOM is a for profit school currently has heightening accreditation monitoring.

they are on the "Bad Boy List" for a reason of schools that are not recommended to apply to.

DO schools don't really have a tier list, outside of the badboy list, they are generally considered equal. Of course certain programs will have certain preferences for certain schools, I'm painting in broad strokes here.

I'm not sure what "osteo" specialty is, ortho (bone)? Given your proclivities it may be worthwhile to think about MD school if you can't see yourself in primary care. Especially not at this particular DO school that may not give you research or rotations you want (or even prepare you properly for step 1).
Burrell will accept anyone who has the ability to take out a massive loan and pay, regardless of application stats
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BCOM has a ~91% total level 1 pass rate, if you want to gamble hundreds of thousands of dollars for a school than still fails 10% of its class even after remediation and multiple attempts, go for it. There are posts years ago of it being in the low 80s, whether that was initial or total I'm unsure.

IF OP had any desire to be primary care then perhaps, but in this situation OP seems better off waiting to take a shot at MD school, since why would they have bothered to apply to an SMP at the same time if that wasn't something they wanted.

"A lot of misinformation" does not equate to a small error of a couple of infractions, when every student receiving advice should continue their due diligence or request sources. This is the point of it being a discussion forum, not every person being the designated researcher for every question.

BCOM is a new school with their first class graduated only in 2020, and they immediately went to having heightened accreditation. I'm not deep diving into this, but to say this as "misinformation" or "misleading" seems pithy, when in all likelihood it is their low level scores that are the problem, and again, it's their money to gamble not mine. Being a for profit school, they may be fine with having trash scores so long as people keep coming.

Burrell’s first time pass rate for COMLEX level 1 last year was 92%. The national average was…92%. Burrell’s cumulative pass rate was 100%.