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Enter DO or reapply MD?

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John Snowstorm

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Hello all,

This is my first post.

I applied summer 2014 pretty early on for the Fall 2015 entering class to about 20 MD schools. I had initially expected to have only mediocre feedback and maybe one interview-requiring me to apply again, which I would then be all ready for. I wanted to give it a go anyways and applied last summer as I built up my resume over the past year in case things went south. My GPA was only 3.4, but at an Engineering program at a well known school, MCAT 34. I have research experience and aspirations on top of clinical aspirations.

I had much better early success than I expected with 4 immediate early interviews last fall. 1 went really well, but I got wait-listed. The second went medium-well and I got wait-listed. The third was really hard to tell as the guy was super ADHD and I got wait-listed. The fourth was an MMI format and one of the interviewers completely misinterpreted my viewpoint that I kept defending and probably gave me a 0/5 score- I got rejected at this one. So maybe me interview skills could improve, but aren't awful- I think?

With the early interviews I really started changing my mindset and want to enter this fall 2015. I applied to 2 DO schools in March and immediately interviewed and was accepted at one last week. I like the school. I like the philosophy of DO. I like the location. The teachers seem super helpful. The rotations sites have some challenges. I still have reservations about the barriers this may set if I choose to go into a slightly more competitive specialty and into research fields. I have no desire to do plastic surgery or anything, but there is at least one in the upper bracket that I am still considering. I will probably do something more mid-level competitive, but again I don't know what specialty I will do yet. I keep hearing feedback that "it will be fine" and to "just do it", but wanted to hear others opinions on SDN on whether I should consider applying again for MD at more "prestigious" schools. I felt like I was so close to an acceptance at well regarded schools last time and now that my resume is more complete- more clinical experience, more volunteer work, shadowing, and a few more courses- and I have actual interview experience I think my odds are much better, but still no guarantees.

Suggestions anyone?
 

ZedsDed

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DOs matched at 79% in the "MD" match this year. That's a steady increase over the last decade. Former AOA matches aren't included yet afaik. IMG match rates are crap and falling fast, but DOs are doing fine. See NRMP.org. Spend some time digging into residency programs and their current/incoming residents. It's incredibly easy to find which programs have DOs.

Here's something DrMidlife posted that I think is relevant to your situation. Keep in mind that it is possible that you turn down this DO acceptance and don't get in any MD schools next year. Every acceptance you turn down is a death stroke at that school. Don't put yourself in a worse situation unnecessarily.
 
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John Snowstorm

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Thanks for the input. I agree the students in DO do match well, but are they getting their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice specialty? It's hard to tell since so many people want to do FM in DO schools, but it is also a catch all to people who had that as their 2nd choice specialty. Are they at there 1st choice location either or at less known and less academic hospitals such that it is difficult to move out of that state afterwards?

Also, I don't know how accurate it is, but St. George's Caribbean school APPEARS to have pretty good match statistics as well, at least according to their booklet, which they may very well have cooked. I'm not considering Caribbean right now or anything just throwing that out there. They might match into SOMEWHERE in the U.S. as long as you aren't picky of location, residency name, or maybe even if it is your 1st or 2nd choice specialty.
 

ZedsDed

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Thanks for the input. I agree the students in DO do match well, but are they getting their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice specialty? It's hard to tell since so many people want to do FM in DO schools, but it is also a catch all to people who had that as their 2nd choice specialty. Are they at there 1st choice location either or at less known and less academic hospitals such that it is difficult to move out of that state afterwards?

Also, I don't know how accurate it is, but St. George's Caribbean school APPEARS to have pretty good match statistics as well, at least according to their booklet, which they may very well have cooked. I'm not considering Caribbean right now or anything just throwing that out there. They might match into SOMEWHERE in the U.S. as long as you aren't picky of location, residency name, or maybe even if it is your 1st or 2nd choice specialty.
Where are you getting this information? I hear this out of the mouths of pre-meds all the time, and I'm seriously perplexed how this notion has gotten out there. Any input from @DrMidlife would be appreciated. Also look at your logic here, how does the 2nd option make more sense than the first if you want to go into a competitive speciality?
 
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DrMidlife

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With a 3.4 and a 34 you should absolutely not be looking at the Carib, but you might want to think about an SMP if you insist on MD. If you're in California, it's a multi-year proposition to go MD; in that case decide how long you're willing to keep trying and how long you're willing to wait to start med school. If your acceptance is at a very new or very for-profit or very religious DO school, um, I'd have a hard time prioritizing it over other options. If you're in at a LECOM that's an outstanding value with a rare price tag under $200k.

Carib schools including the big 3 start with 400+ students in each class. By the end of 2nd year it's down to 200, sometimes less. Low acceptance standards translate into a whole lot of kids going home with a whole lot of student debt and nothing to show for it.

How do I know this, beyond SDN rumors? I've rotated with about 30 fresh Carib USIMGs so far at my school's hospital, which does not generally host competitive residencies. That means I'm talking to the recent, successful Carib IMGs who are able to get psych/IM/peds residencies at an academic center. Every time I work with an IMG resident, I ask what school they went to, how big their class was 1st year, and how big it was at graduation. They/ve each confirmed that their classes started around 350-450 and ended around 200. They describe their multiple match cycles. They tell me about giving up on anesthesia, ob/gyn, EM in favor of IM and psych, in order to match.

To do your own research, look at the Carib schools' own alumni pages, and compare to any match list from any US MD or DO school. No, you won't find the info you want on a Carib school website. Then look at the match stats on NRMP.org. 50% for USIMGs and falling.

But let's say you do Carib with a 3.4 and a 34. You'll be on the island for 2+ years, then you'll be in for rotations on the mainland. If the Carib school has spent, and continues to spend, decades and millions securing rotation sites in NY, MI et al, you might get done in 4 years. Otherwise it's more like 5 years to graduation followed by another extra year or two trying to match.

YES. There are kids who do fine with Carib. That's not in question. What's in question is whether YOU will do fine with Carib.

tl;dr: half of Carib students fail out by end of 2nd year. Half of those that remain don't match.

Best of luck to you.
 

John Snowstorm

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It was from the booklet from SGU where they show 770 residencies placed last year and then give the breakdown of specialty- really I read it, but wasn't putting much stock in it as I have heard of the misfortunes of IMGs not matching. I was just using it as an example to show that even they had people go into competitive specialties and match. I'm sure matching in something won't be an issue at the DO school, but rather the particulars of the match and 1st choice of specialty vs. U.S. MD. Also if any barriers with this would outweigh waiting another year.
 

John Snowstorm

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Thanks Dr. Midlife,
My timeline is to either enter into the accepted DO school this fall or wait 1 year more, applying right now, and possibly entering fall 2016. The DO school where I am accepted isn't too fresh and I am strongly leaning towards going there, don't get me wrong. I am really just seeing if anyone brings up a valid argument against going now and waiting 1 year in order to have better prospects 4-10-30 years from now from going to a US MD school instead of facing any barriers from a DO school. I know that I have no guarantees this application round as well. I don't think I would do an SMP as that would start in the fall after I would apply this summer. All of the preparation I did to improve my application for this application cycle vs. last year has already been done. It is a question of whether I bank on having improved my app enough to tip the scales at the schools where I am still wait-listed on from last cycle. I have heard people on admission committees talk of the "perseverance" factor so they actually expect 2 applications and look on that as a positive as long as you have improved your app. I took a few courses last fall and still have one going now- they don't really dent my GPA anymore, but just have the lifelong learning aspect. I also have added much more in terms of volunteering and clinical experience to make my app more well rounded.
 

DrMidlife

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John Snowstorm

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Thanks. I read that thread and it is kind of what I was thinking. There are barriers to entry and it would be nice to not have to add this to my time during medical school- but they might end up being negligible problems IF all turns out well. Just some added stress and hassle.

If I were to assume that my interviews were the problem last cycle and my application is now better this year than last year then I should potentially get at least some interviews again if I applied. Then I would just have to try to improve my interview skills, which would be a worthwhile pursuit in its own.

Also, I did try contacting my state school (that went from interview to waitlist to reject) about feedback- THEY DO NOT HELP!!! I tried contacting multiple people there related to the admissions department and they don't even respond. I'll try some of the other schools I interviewed at and maybe they will help. If it was all on the interview I think I could improve. I've never had to interview for much so my skills at talking about myself are very green.
 

Goro

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A 3.4 GPA isn't going to get you into "prestigious schools", and neither will magic thinking.

If you really want to be a doctor in four years, take those accepts.

Don't even think about the Carib diploma mills unless you like the idea of being unemployed and deeply in debt. Cue argus sputtering "but, but NRMP!!"

My students match quite nicely into ACGME residencies, and yes, their 1st choices too.

Hello all,

This is my first post.

I applied summer 2014 pretty early on for the Fall 2015 entering class to about 20 MD schools. I had initially expected to have only mediocre feedback and maybe one interview-requiring me to apply again, which I would then be all ready for. I wanted to give it a go anyways and applied last summer as I built up my resume over the past year in case things went south. My GPA was only 3.4, but at an Engineering program at a well known school, MCAT 34. I have research experience and aspirations on top of clinical aspirations.

I had much better early success than I expected with 4 immediate early interviews last fall. 1 went really well, but I got wait-listed. The second went medium-well and I got wait-listed. The third was really hard to tell as the guy was super ADHD and I got wait-listed. The fourth was an MMI format and one of the interviewers completely misinterpreted my viewpoint that I kept defending and probably gave me a 0/5 score- I got rejected at this one. So maybe me interview skills could improve, but aren't awful- I think?

With the early interviews I really started changing my mindset and want to enter this fall 2015. I applied to 2 DO schools in March and immediately interviewed and was accepted at one last week. I like the school. I like the philosophy of DO. I like the location. The teachers seem super helpful. The rotations sites have some challenges. I still have reservations about the barriers this may set if I choose to go into a slightly more competitive specialty and into research fields. I have no desire to do plastic surgery or anything, but there is at least one in the upper bracket that I am still considering. I will probably do something more mid-level competitive, but again I don't know what specialty I will do yet. I keep hearing feedback that "it will be fine" and to "just do it", but wanted to hear others opinions on SDN on whether I should consider applying again for MD at more "prestigious" schools. I felt like I was so close to an acceptance at well regarded schools last time and now that my resume is more complete- more clinical experience, more volunteer work, shadowing, and a few more courses- and I have actual interview experience I think my odds are much better, but still no guarantees.

Suggestions anyone?
 
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workethic712

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hi OP, I share identical stats with you and am in the same situation as you. I'm taking my DO acceptance and running with it. not to scare you or anything but I had absolutely zero love from MD schools this past cycle so take that into consideration before deciding to test those waters again.
 
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JW2020

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You'll lose an attending's salary for each year you put off applying again. And all for the hope of obtaining an MD admission, which there is no certainty you will receive. You already have acceptances to become a physician, and if you turn them down I wouldn't expect those schools to give you a second chance in upcoming cycles.
 
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cabinbuilder

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It was from the booklet from SGU where they show 770 residencies placed last year and then give the breakdown of specialty- really I read it, but wasn't putting much stock in it as I have heard of the misfortunes of IMGs not matching. I was just using it as an example to show that even they had people go into competitive specialties and match. I'm sure matching in something won't be an issue at the DO school, but rather the particulars of the match and 1st choice of specialty vs. U.S. MD. Also if any barriers with this would outweigh waiting another year.
Don't be stupid. You have been accepted into medical school. In the "real world" no one cares about the initials behind your name. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and go be the doctor you want to be.
 
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kenjixshadow

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You double-downed on Jack and pulled a five, but the dealer busted. Take your money and walk away. Throwing more money on the table waiting for a blackjack is dumb. The cocktail girl isn't going home with you either way.

dhMeAzK.gif
 
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familyaerospace

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I think you have a question to ask yourself.

"Do I want to be a doctor or do I want an MD after my name?"

If it is the former, unless you want to practice medicine in a country where DO isn't recognized, then take the DO acceptance.

If it is the latter, well I personally would want as my doctor someone who wanted to be a doctor and didn't care one way or the other what degrees they had.
 

GrapesofRath

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With all due respect as others have said this is a no-brainer. Take the DO acceptance and ask questions later. These aren't valid reservations you have about entering a DO program, look into your concerns more and you'll see what I and everyone else on here means.
 

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Don't be stupid. You have been accepted into medical school. In the "real world" no one cares about the initials behind your name. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and go be the doctor you want to be.


100% CORRECT. NO ONE CARES about where the physicians I work with went to medical school. Honestly, I question why some went to more expensive schools. We just call them "Doctor" . As long as they can do their jobs, then they are fine. I am in high school, so I should represent the general public.

Key word "Medical School" You can go into any speciality you want to.
 

QofQuimica

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You know nothing, John Snow....

Agree with the others. You gamed the system and won in spite of not being a great interviewee. Don't be a sore winner. Take that DO acceptance and laugh like heck all the way to the white coat ceremony.
 
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rekrul

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I'm going to go against the prevailing wisdom in this thread. Here is what you need to decide:

What is your ideal outcome?
A)Start at a DO school this year
B)Start at an MD school next year

If it's A, then you are all set, obviously. Just accept your offer.

If it's B, then you're more than justified in either rejecting or deferring your DO acceptance and reapplying to both MD and DO this upcoming cycle. Your only risk is that you do not get accepted to an MD school and end up enrolling in a DO school in 2016 rather than 2015.

Are you guaranteed to get more DO acceptances? Just about. You applied to 2 DO schools in March(!) and immediately got an acceptance. If you apply DO for the 2015-16 cycle, early, to more schools, with what you said is an even stronger application than last time, a reasonable man would say you'd have to be damn unlucky to not get bucketful of DO acceptances in case your bid for MD does not pan out.

I'm also going to disagree with the idea that MD and DO are "just initials" and all that matters is that you're a doctor. Obviously that notion is false, and its falsehood is evidenced by the fact that if nothing else, every DO applicant has to make a case as to why he's particularly interested in osteopathic medicine. I don' t think "I like the letters D and O" is gonna cut it, so there has to be more to it than just the initials...
 

GrapesofRath

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I'm going to go against the prevailing wisdom in this thread. Here is what you need to decide:

What is your ideal outcome?
A)Start at a DO school this year
B)Start at an MD school next year

If it's A, then you are all set, obviously. Just accept your offer.

If it's B, then you're more than justified in either rejecting or deferring your DO acceptance and reapplying to both MD and DO this upcoming cycle. Your only risk is that you do not get accepted to an MD school and end up enrolling in a DO school in 2016 rather than 2015.

Are you guaranteed to get more DO acceptances? Just about. You applied to 2 DO schools in March(!) and immediately got an acceptance. If you apply DO for the 2015-16 cycle, early, to more schools, with what you said is an even stronger application than last time, a reasonable man would say you'd have to be damn unlucky to not get bucketful of DO acceptances in case your bid for MD does not pan out.

I'm also going to disagree with the idea that MD is "just an initial" and all that matters is that you're a doctor. Obviously that notion is false, and its falsehood is evidenced by the fact that if nothing else, every DO applicant has to make a case as to why he's particularly interested in osteopathic medicine. I don' t think "I like the letters D and O" is gonna cut it, so there has to be more to it than just the initials...

No
 
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kenjixshadow

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Lots of people do it unfortunately...and DOs probably expect it which is why MSUCOM posts $1000 as a deposit to defer a seat.

Then it's stupid on their part. If you apply to DO, get accepted, and turn down the offer, you're basically wasting time and money right there, might as well apply to only MD in the first place. AACOMAS primary application costs $195 initially, and $35 for each additional school, plus $50 to $100 for secondaries, another $200-300 for a round trip, and $50-75 to stay in one night hotel.

@rekrul the cons of your plan are:
1) lost $200k+ of salary
2) other DO schools can see that OP turned down the acceptance. It will reflect badly on him and they might reject him up front.
3) what if he doesn't get accepted to any MD school next cycle?

You're going against the "wisdom" of this thread because you're a pre-med.
 
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ZedsDed

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Then it's stupid on their part. If you apply to DO, get accepted, and turn down the offer, you're basically wasting time and money right there, might as well apply to only MD in the first place. AACOMAS primary application costs $195 initially, and $35 for each additional school, plus $50 to $100 for secondaries, another $200-300 for a round trip, and $50-75 to stay in one night hotel.

@rekrul the cons of your plan are:
1) lost $200k+ of salary
2) other DO schools can see that OP turned down the acceptance. It will reflect badly on him and they probably will reject him up front.
3) what if he doesn't get accepted to any MD school next cycle?

You're going against the "wisdom" of this thread because you're a pre-med.
Fixed that for you
 
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RejectedMD

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First of all, DO NOT TURN DOWN AN ACCEPTANCE EVER.

You have two rational options:
1) Go to the DO school this year (especially if they don't allow deferral)
2) Defer DO acceptance and only apply MD. Then if you don't get MD, you'll have a DO spot waiting for you.

Now, choosing option (1) makes the most sense UNLESS you might go into one of the following:
-Derm
-Ophtho
-Plastics (although GS/ENT + Plastics is possible with DO)
-Any residency (other than Peds/PMR/FM/Neuro/Psych) at a top 10 academic center

As far as this changing with the AOA/ACGME merger, anyone who thinks they know what will result from it is lying. (Will those formerly AOA Michigan Uro/ENT residencies still favor DO students over MD students?) There remains a lot of questions as to how this will impact DO chances but I don't see why current ACGME residencies who do discriminate against DO would suddenly have a change of heart.

And any arguments about "losing $200K+" are laughable. Would they say the same when it comes to taking a gap year to travel or gain some meaningful life experience? And who is to say you wouldn't gain that during this extra year?

In the end it really comes down to what you prioritize in your life and what you hope to be. No one else can dictate that. Good luck.
 

Redpancreas

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Then it's stupid on their part. If you apply to DO, get accepted, and turn down the offer, you're basically wasting time and money right there, might as well apply to only MD in the first place. AACOMAS primary application costs $195 initially, and $35 for each additional school, plus $50 to $100 for secondaries, another $200-300 for a round trip, and $50-75 to stay in one night hotel.

@rekrul the cons of your plan are:
1) lost $200k+ of salary
2) other DO schools can see that OP turned down the acceptance. It will reflect badly on him and they might reject him up front.
3) what if he doesn't get accepted to any MD school next cycle?

You're going against the "wisdom" of this thread because you're a pre-med.

Hey man, I don't think you understood what the guy meant by defer DO. In this case, defer means that you do pay an annoyingly large deposit but you guarantee your spot in the next incoming class (so 2020 for this current cycle). It gives you two shots at the MD while guaranteeing you a spot in medical school. Granted one doesn't lie on his or her applications or sign anything binding them to the DO program, I fail to see how it's even unethical.
 

kenjixshadow

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Hey man, I don't think you understood what the guy meant by defer DO. In this case, defer means that you do pay an annoyingly large deposit but you guarantee your spot in the next incoming class (so 2020 for this current cycle). It gives you two shots at the MD while guaranteeing you a spot in medical school. Granted one doesn't lie on his or her applications or sign anything binding them to the DO program, I fail to see how it's even unethical.

You think DO schools will let ppl defer the acceptance so they can reapply to MD? Nice joke.
 
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Don't be stupid. You have been accepted into medical school. In the "real world" no one cares about the initials behind your name. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and go be the doctor you want to be.
I think you have a question to ask yourself.

"Do I want to be a doctor or do I want an MD after my name?"

Both of these. Your options are being a physician in four years, or maybe being one in five years. Go with the sure thing.
 

Redpancreas

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"If I come off too strong I apologize in advanced. This idea comes off as the famous LizzieM would say as "Bat**** Crazy".

1) You cannot apply if you defer or attend another school. Virtually every school has this policy and the risk of this is essentially being "blacklisted" if you try.
2) If you apply to a school you should have been mentally/emotionally ready to go there.
3) I have interacted with many, many adcom staff, admissions directors, etc, over my 10+ years of working with nontraditional premeds and everyone, everyone, everyone will tell you that if you turn down an acceptance at once school to reapply to another major warning flags and sirens go up. Since medical admissions is a negative process, that is they are looking to thin the thousands of applications to a 100 seats (more or less). You handed them a big fat reason to reject immediately."


I'm actually not in this position or else I'd start calling schools myself. Also, if you read the OP's original question, he's reapplying to his top choice DO while attending another school?!?

Also, when this person says virtually every school has a policy, I just found one that apparently doesn't so whoops... While his or her intentions are good, post #23 seems to be more fueled by an opinion than anything else. I agree that applying md/do, getting rejected from MD, reapplying MD while DEFERRING do sounds ungrateful, weasel-like, and all the other things fellow SDN members hate. However, I'm just trying to figure out is it allowed because in my close friend's experience, it seems to have worked and if it's allowed, I think it should be discussed openly as a viable strategy for pre-meds, as opposed to a shady method.
 
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