DO Surgeons

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by HomerJ, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member

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    I am starting TCOM this Fall and I am very interested in surgery. I know that the focus of DO schools is primary care and there are few DO surgeons. What I am interested in knowing is why there are so few or is this beginnig to change. How are DO surgeons viewed by the DO community and MD community, and public? Are there enough good AOA surgical residencies or do most DOs opt for allopathic residencies and how are DOs viewed in an allopathic program. Are they competetive enough to get into an allopathic residency? Any comments are greatly appreciated, especially from others who are in surgery programs or are planning on going into surgery.
     
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  3. RDJ

    RDJ

    HomerJ:

    I am going to leave most of your question for someone else to answer. However, it seems from the wording of some of your questions that you would benefit from reading, Osteopathic Medicine: A Reformation in Progress

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0443079919/qid%3D988405272/104-3645240-4305545[/UR L]

    Also, do not take this personally, but my eyebrow goes up everytime a person asks this type of question AND they have ALREADY been accepted to a D.O. school...shouldn't you have already done your homework on this?

    No disrespect intended, It is just one of the things that makes me go, uhmm...

    Anyway, I HIGHLY suggest you read that book. It is a must for all osteopathic students and physicians.

    Dale [​IMG]


    [This message has been edited by RDJ (edited April 27, 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by RDJ (edited April 27, 2001).]
     
  4. Chucky Painkomo

    Chucky Painkomo Junior Member

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    RDJ,

    Why does it surprise you that a DO wants to be a surgeon? Is it because DO schools are normally primary care oriented?

    Hey Homer,

    I'll probably be in your class next year. I don't know the answer to your question, but my guess is that DO applicants do have a bit harder of a time getting allopathic surgery slots than their MD counterparts. I'm looking at the TCOM match list 2000 for surgery and this is what it lists:

    1.) Ortho Surg: Osteopathic Med Ctr of TX in Ft. Worth
    2.) Ortho Surg: Mich St. U, Inghan Regional Med Ctr. in East Lansing, Michigan
    3.) Gen Surg: Greenville Memorial Hosp. in Greenville, South Carolina
    4.) Gen Surg: DFW Med Center in Grand Prarie, TX
    5.) Ortho Surg: Doctor's Hospital in Columbus,Ohio
    6.) Ortho Surg: Oklahoma St. U, Tulsa Reg. Med Ctr in Tulsa, OK
    7.) Prelim Surg/Neuro Surg. at UC Davis Med Ctr. in Sacremento, CA

    As you can see, the Surgery Match is pretty small compared to the other schools in TX. I guess its because the school likes to crank out Family Docs (the vast majority of the match list). Hope that helps. I'm pretty interested in surgery as well, so you won't be the only black sheep in our class. Is there anyone around here who can answer Homer's question? Drusso...are you around?
     
  5. RDJ

    RDJ

    You completely missed my point. It does not surprise me that a D.O. would want to be a surgeon. ...The point I am trying to make is that I always stress to people applying to D.O. schools to find out as much about the professions as you can before applying. The advice goes for all students in general who are applying to any professional school. It helps to prevent one from becoming an unhappy student. It never fails though, every year medical, dental, nursing and allied health students drop out of their school...after having realized it is not where they really want to be...that is pretty much always going to happen, but is something admission committees try to avoid. I kind?a think my advice is common sense. I personally would have asked your question...and found out the answer way before any interview...not to mention an acceptance. The question is a basic MD vs DO comparison question.

    O.K., maybe I am being a little tough on you guys. However, if you do not already know the answer, make sure you read up on your future profession before you start school. I am assuming you have already read Gevitz's book, "The D.O.'s." If you have not, then read it along with the other I posted above.

    Now to your question: There is nothing stopping you from becoming a surgeon. If that is what you want to do then go for it. There are a fair number (I cannot remember the stats, but I believe the current data is in the book I mentioned in my first post. There is an entire chapter in it devoted to specialty medicine.
    Being a D.O. will not hinder you. As long as you do well in medical school, the boards, in your clinicals, get some good letters of recommendation, etc., you should not have a problem. It is a competitive field, but the D.O. initials behind your name should not be a hindrance. Remember, you will also be able to apply to both AOA and ACGME residencies. There are a number of solid AOA surgical programs...obviously nowhere near the number of ACGME ones.
    As far as why there are not more D.O. surgeons is because of the majority of students in D.O. schools have a strong interest in primary care. Like you said, all D.O. schools have a emphasis first on primary care, and second on specialty care. There are a growing number of M.D. schools doing the same thing (in an attempt to fix the physician imbalance in our country). It is a factor that many of the admission committees take into account when selecting applicants. Now, will you be shunned at TCOM in anyway if you say you do not want to go into primary care...no, you will not be...after all they have a number of surgical faculty. I know several D.O. specialists myself. Osteopathic medicine is in no way anti-specialists. Osteopathic principles and philosophy fits very well into surgery. In fact, as one poster commented on the other day...there are some who believe that being a D.O. will make you a more well-rounded surgeon because of your strong generalist background.

    Now with all that said, I am sure you will find someone who will say that being a D.O. will work against you. However, I can also find someone who would say the same because an applicant is female, went to a lesser known M.D. school, is an older applicant, etc. Unfortunately, there is a prestige-ego-factor in medicine that we must all deal with. The fact is that surgery is competitive...and certain people will hold some things against you that others will not.

    Good Luck...and read those books...and talk to Drusso...I am sure he can do a better job of addressing your question than I have.

    [​IMG] Cheers,
    Dale


    [This message has been edited by RDJ (edited April 28, 2001).]
     
  6. As a hopeful future surgeon I hope I can add some usful info here. No, being a DO will not prevent you from going into surgery. I have been doing a lot of research into surg residencies and here is my opinion. There are a few very good DO surg residencies out there... but not as many as I had hoped to find. From the larger university based MD surg programs that I have contacted, to get one of their positions (categorical) as a DO, you must: have a very high class rank, take the USMLE (and do very well), spend time with them. It happens but not very often from what i've found. Another way to get into these programs is to apply to their "preliminary" positions. These are one year programs, but in no way guarantee that you will get a categorical surg position after that one year. Confused yet? Many of the subspecialty surgeons that I have contacted did a DO gen surg residency and then did MD fellowship, as fellowships are "easier" to get than the gen surg residency. I hope any of that helps!
    JS-dmu
     
  7. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member

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    I want to thank everone who has responded.

    RDJ,

    I really did not intend this to be a DO vs MD comparison (I know the differences). Before I applied I talked with my primary physician, who is a DO, and I have read the book by Norman Gevitz. This helped in my decision about choosing to study osteopathic medicine. However, the book by Gevitz is almost 20 years old and my doctor has been practicing for about 15 years. What I wanted to know is where things stand today for DOs who specialize, particularly in surgery. I have heard those who are doomsayers that have said you will never be accepted by the surgical community and those at the other extreme who pretend everything is peachy keen. I do want to thank you for refering the book, which I did not know existed until today. Hopefully this will shed some light on this subject.

    Hey Chucky,

    Congradulations! I am glad to hear that I won't be the only one in our class thinking about going into surgery. I think we should start a place here for class of 2005 since are message board has been down for some time now. Did you go to the Spring Fling? I did and I had a really good time.
     
  8. RDJ

    RDJ

    HomerJ:
    I am glad I could help...I think I helped? Sorry if I came off a little pointed. For a second there I thought you might be an MD-wannabe. ...Not that I have anything against them, I just met a few who are miserable...and quite insecure with their career choice...I can't even imagine what it would be like to start medical school and then realize I made a big mistake...I know of at least one person who did it last year...he/she dropped out the first week...I was wrong to have jumped the gun...and I sit here humbled in my error. I hope you hang on to your goal of being a surgeon...it is common to change your mind two or three times during medical school. I wish you the best. Enjoy the book, I think it is excellent...it is updated and quite informative...not to mention a little motivational for anyone who is passionate about osteopathic medicine.

    Dale
     
  9. cjw0918

    cjw0918 Senior Member

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    I just wanted to say hi to HomerJ and Chucky. I'll probably be going to TCOM with ya'll, but I don't think I'm interested in surgery. [​IMG] I'm sure both of you will get what you want out of your medical careers- you're already taking the time to find out what you're getting into. That's a good sign- information is power! Can't wait to meet you when class starts. Take care.
     
  10. Chucky Painkomo

    Chucky Painkomo Junior Member

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    Hi Joy! I read your other post and saw that you will be joining us in Ft. Worth instead of going to that school in Ireland. That's pretty awesome! Looks like I'll be going to school with you after all.

    RDJ, I understand your concern. It seems that a substantial portion of DO haters are inside the walls of DO schools. It's a shame, but its true. So as far as you being a bit defensive...I definitely understand. Aren't you an MSUCOM matriculant? How come you aren't going to TCOM with us next year since you are from San Antonio?

    Homer, I'm glad to see another person interested in a surgical specialty.

    To anwer both Homer and Joy, yes, I did go to Spring Fling. I was absolutely impressed with the people I met in the classes above me and those who will be in my class. Homer are you the guy I met who goes to Abilene Christian Univ.?
     
  11. R. Dale Jackson

    R. Dale Jackson Senior Member

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    Well :rolleyes:, I can definitely see why everyone could think I was coming off as being a little defensive, but to ameliorate that thought let me explain my perspective. ...The last few months I have been helping several students at my alma mater in regards to applying to Texas schools, as well as all D.O. schools. When I read Homer's first post, I had fresh in my mind three stories about medical students (both M.D. and D.O.) who had dropped out of medical school because they decided it was not what they wanted. One dropped out the first week and the others in year II. These stories seriously bled over into my post. In addition, the post also made me think of a thread Drusso once posted about his take on the three types of people who decide to go to D.O. school. There is quite often a small minority who for one reason or another end up regretting their decision. In addition, there have been a few TCOM students in the past that have been very vocal about how D.O.'s should change their initials to MD-O and everyone should take the USMLE with a osteopathic addendum?needless to say I thought to myself?"oh no, I hope this poor soul is not an M.D.-wannabe. Moreover, I have recently talked to a few pre-meds, who said that they love TCOM, but are afraid of the whole "D.O." stigma. I have been trying to provide them as much information about the profession, in addition to referring them to several D.O.'s to talk to. My goal is not to make them choose one over the other, I could care less what they choose, but instead to help them to make an INFORMED choice and one they are comfortable with. ...Whether you are an M.D. or D.O. student, it literally breaks my heart to see someone come so far only to realize they have made an error in their career choice. With that said though, there will always be people who change their mind and although it may seem like a huge shame, I have to tip my hat to those who in the first or second year have the guts to say, "I made a mistake; I do not want to be here...and I want to move on." If they do not do that, they turn in to the small minority of residents that I know whom hate their job and say that if they had it to do over again they would have done something else. This is not a M.D. vs. D.O. thing; it is a human thing. This is also a subject that most of the premedical advisors/counselors do not often broach...however, it is a subject, from what I am told, that comes up every once in a while in every medical school.
    Anyway, I really got a little off track and should have just left it to someone else to answer his question...although, it was a good opportunity to plug that book...many people do not know about it yet.

    Why did I not go to UNTHSC-TCOM? Uhmm, long, long story, but to make it short I will just say this. I did end up applying to both M.D. and D.O. I was 95% sure I wanted to go to a D.O. school, but I wanted the interviews to help me make a 99.9% informed decision. In the end, I had the Texas match to contend with and obviously chose TCOM. I also had to decide among a handful of out-of-state D.O. schools. Another thing that really narrowed my choices down was the fact that I want a school that offered the dual MPH option. (Whether or not I continue to pursue my MPH, I will decide after the first semester in medical school.) When it was all over, I decided on MSU-COM. The final sticking point was tuition. At TCOM it is $7,000 and year and at MSU it is $24,000 for out-of-staters. However, no matter what school I was planning to go to, my intention was to utilize either the NHSC scholarship or the Army National Guard. I decided on the Guard and they will cover most of my expenses/loans?so that removed the tuition factor.

    TCOM is a great school, but I am not from Texas (came here because of the military) and am very much ready to leave. Moreover, if I could design a medical school just for me?MSU would pretty much be what it would look like?location, personality, curriculum, grading policy, clinicals, residency options and all.


    Dale :D
     
  12. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    DO schools push primary care because that's just their thing---community-based primary care medicine. Just like some MD schools emphasize biomedical research. It's all about educational cultures. Still, osteopathic medicine is a full-service medical profession. That means there is room for osteopathic specialists. Considering that you can't train good primary care physicians without input from good specialists, it's perfectly fine to aspire to be an osteopathic specialist. No one will hold it against you in osteopathic circles. There are some very good DO general surgery and orthopedic surgery programs out there.

    The trick is to get a head start on the whole surgery thing. Most student who want to do surgery (and interestingly enough psychiatry too) generally know from the beginning exactly what they want. Get involved in sugery-related activities, try to get to know surgery residents, and do exceptionally well in anatomy and your surgery clerkship. You might consider doing an anatomy Teaching Assistantship offered at most medical schools. You'll get extra experience dissecting and learning anatomy. Good luck.

    --Dave
     
  13. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member

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    Hey Chucky, I am not the one from ACU, but I did meet the guy that is from there. Nice guy. I went to Oklahoma Baptist University and received my Masters from OU. I can't believe school starts in three months. I am excited and nervous. It is going to be a milestone for all of us. I think TCOM is a great school and has a great atmosphere. Every student I have met seems very down to earth and the staff is teriffic. I feel that this will be a very challenging and rewarding experience for all of us, one that we will never forget. :D
     
  14. RCsquared

    RCsquared Junior Member

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    My husband is finishing up his third year at AZCOM and, somewhere along the line he fell in love with general surgery. Some of you mentioned that there are a few good DO programs out there. Could you let us in on where? My husband is off to Genesys and Pontiac in the fall just to get a feel for what's out there. Botsford usually comes up but I would like to hear what programs you all think are great. Thanks! :)
     
  15. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member

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    I hears that Genysis (sp?) is an ok program... and yes Botsford does come up all of the time. Botsford is probably one of the best DO surg programs available. The program here at DMU is pretty good as well. It has excellent faculty, good didactics, and a very large patient load. Many of their grads have gone on to specialize at places like cleveland clinic, etc. The downside to the program: 1) its in Iowa, 2) they only take two first year residents each year... usually students from this school that they know. They may be increasing the number of positions soon though. Hope that helps.
     
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  17. R. Dale Jackson

    R. Dale Jackson Senior Member

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    This subject came up once before in a conversation I was in.... I seem to remember the programs that stood out the most were at OUCOM, PCOM and MSU-COM. Moreover, lets not forget TCOM, from what I understand it has a top-notch vascular program. Like the other poster, I also have heard that DMU's program is pretty solid. I think they go into some detail about it on their website.
     
  18. kundun

    kundun Senior Member

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    a friend of mine who attends the Ohio State University School of Medicine...tells me that the chief of the section of transplant surgery is a DO
     
  19. alperaar

    alperaar Junior Member

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    Hey guys..

    It's nice to dream about wanting to go into surgery!! Just keep your mind open to change, because I know tons of people who absolutely knew what they wanted to go into b/4 med school started, only to change their opinion once rotations started. And yes, Botsford does have a good gen surg program.
     
  20. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member

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    anybody know a DO plastic surgeon? just curious. :p
     
  21. kundun

    kundun Senior Member

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    Ronald S. Bergman D.O.
    2000 Grand Ave
    Des Moines, IA 50312-4920
    515-222-1111

    Nirmalendu K. Pandeya D.O.
    4405 Maryann Circle
    West Des Moines, IA 50265-5328

    enjoy
     
  22. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Drs. Larry and Kent McIntire (both DOs) have a residency program thru Freeman Hospital in Joplin, MO, for Ear, Nose, and Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery. I've shadowed Dr. Larry McIntire a few times and learned alot from him. Hey vietcongs- aren't you going to UHS-COM next year?

    -Nathan (UHS-COM)
     

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