Given the fact that Step 1 is now P/F, how worried should I be as an incoming DO student this summer?

Feb 10, 2020
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Sounds like you need to apply more broadly using the MSAR. Maybe establish residency in Texas lol.
I applied to 39 total schools, of which 7 were DO, and were all +1/2 above my MCAT score or lower.
 

BorntobeDO?

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I applied to 39 total schools, of which 7 were DO, and were all +1/2 above my MCAT score or lower.
Maybe pay a service to review your personal statement. Something is wrong if your numbers are alright but you can’t get love.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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@Fishwithadeagle is reapplication stigma really that bad?
See, that's the thing, I'm not entirely sure. I know I messed up the previous cycle for applying so late (secondaries) to all these schools. I was just working out the logistics of applying as I've come to learn way more in this past year. None rejected me really last year until the very end of the year. This year I am getting rejections consolidated around January / February. Entirely new ps. New job in clinical research working with patients. New volunteering at a syringe exchange. ETC.

Basically who knows, and I just know that reapplying for a third time could be really bad, and I guess if I just push through, at the very least I can do IM, which I will be happy to do (just as long as it isn't in ND or somewhere like that).
 
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Maybe pay a service to review your personal statement. Something is wrong if your numbers are alright but you can’t get love.
Possibly, I had 2 physicians who acted as mentors read it, and also the two premed advisors, to which all okayed it. So I no longer know what it could be other than just being a cookie cutter applicant without enough stuff standing out from the rest. I attempted some things, but maybe they didn't work.

My current situation revolves around having multiple DO acceptances, this change, and what to do in the coming months.
 

BorntobeDO?

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Possibly, I had 2 physicians who acted as mentors read it, and also the two premed advisors, to which all okayed it. So I no longer know what it could be other than just being a cookie cutter applicant without enough stuff standing out from the rest. I attempted some things, but maybe they didn't work.

My current situation revolves around having multiple DO acceptances, this change, and what to do in the coming months.
Well, my first comment is that you might get some MD love this cycle cause it’s not over and you haven’t been rejected from everywhere. The second is that your issue is that your getting rejected before the interview. You need someone who is involved with admissions to go over your stuff. Not your premed advisor, or physician who are distant from the process, someone who has done it more recently and at the medical school level. Something in your app is causing these schools to ignore it, you have to figure out what that is.
 
Feb 13, 2020
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if all this does end up happening and it's bad as everyone thinks it's gonna be and you're gunning for something like ortho, derm, optho, rads, etc, one workaround might be to go through something like army HPSP. like obviously it's not fullproof but there's not really any DO bias as like half of military physicians are DOs and they really only expect you to take comlex if ur a DO and not USMLE. obviously this would be for someone who was thinking about or wanted to serve in the first place as there are also many downsides to HPSP. but I do think it would probably give people better shots at the top specialties
 
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Feb 10, 2020
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Well, my first comment is that you might get some MD love this cycle cause it’s not over and you haven’t been rejected from everywhere. The second is that your issue is that your getting rejected before the interview. You need someone who is involved with admissions to go over your stuff. Not your premed advisor, or physician who are distant from the process, someone who has done it more recently and at the medical school level. Something in your app is causing these schools to ignore it, you have to figure out what that is.
We have a waitlist to a very strange school that hasn't seemed to have given any IS acceptances due to some crazy changes, and than another private school that I'm waiting to hear back on after the interview. I just don't see having only 2 interviews of questionable quality granting me an A based on my results last cycle.

My guess is a bad LOR from someone, which I might have a clue who its from. My PI and I had a contentious relationship, as I came to find she disliked med school applicants rather than having PhD applicants. So that could be scaring people away.

What is typically the time people start getting their rejections for the schools having given out all their interviews. We are at 9 R's right now, whereas last cycle I didn't get any until the very end.

I've been trying to get someone from an adcom to review my app, but I'm at a big 10 and they have a very interesting way of selecting who gets their apps reviewed.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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if all this does end up happening and it's bad as everyone thinks it's gonna be and you're gunning for something like ortho, derm, optho, rads, etc, one workaround might be to go through something like army HPSP. like obviously it's not fullproof but there's not really any DO bias as like half of military physicians are DOs and they really only expect you to take comlex if ur a DO and not USMLE. obviously this would be for someone who was thinking about or wanted to serve in the first place as there are also many downsides to HPSP. but I do think it would probably give people better shots at the top specialties
Other than 4-5 years of required service, what would be a downside. I was actually considering that at one point.
 
Sep 11, 2019
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Do you think anyone could look at my CV and tell me what I need to improve on. Just in case I decide to reapply.
I’ve gotten really bad advice from my pre-health advisors. I also want an opinion of how realistic improving is before I throw away an opportunity.
 
May 9, 2019
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Hi incoming DO student (thinking about reapplying). I am currently deciding between Western (COMP NW) and CCOM. I was going to pick Western since it’s less expensive and I liked it better. But due to this new system should I choose CCOM? They have a good reputation with Chicago schools and every year match a very large majority of their students to programs at Rush, Loyola, U of Illinois, etc. Now with this new stupid system would it be better to go to CCOM since they have more research available, are older, and have a good relationship with some Chicago schools. I just know Oregon does not have enough residencies already in their state so most ppl from COMP NW go out of state for residency. But with p/f step 1 that could be harder now and matching on the west coast is already competitive. Input would be great!
**still highly considering reapplying since I had 3 MD IIs but need to get that MCAT up. But having a school in my back pocket seems like the smartest thing to do.

If anything, the step 1 change makes the tuition at CCOM even less attractive. If all DO programs are considered on a level playing field by PDs, why pay more for what would probably be a marginal difference in resources. If I were you I would try to hop on the research track at COMP-NW early on and get to work. Not to mention the large amount of 4th year rotations will likely play into our favor more than ever now.

I was also a borderline candidate for MD programs and I honestly wouldn’t want to apply again. From what I’ve seen, this process is too random to gamble away an acceptance. Everyone really just needs to chill out. Is it ideal? No. But programs that have been accepting osteopaths for years aren’t going to just stop. The specialties that have been traditionally DO friendly are still on the table. The game has just changed a little bit.
 
Feb 13, 2020
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Other than 4-5 years of required service, what would be a downside. I was actually considering that at one point.
downside like you said is the 4-5 years of payback time maybe more depending on how long your residency is, less pay as military physician, not having control of where you're sent, possible gmo if you're navy, etc. but yeah again if you're an incoming DO student who wants to at least have a chance at ortho or derm and you're okay with all of that, who knows it might be the way to go
 
May 9, 2019
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Other than 4-5 years of required service, what would be a downside. I was actually considering that at one point.
You should check out the Mil med stuff on here lol.
 
Feb 10, 2020
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If anything, the step 1 change makes the tuition at CCOM even less attractive. If all DO programs are considered on a level playing field by PDs, why pay more for what would probably be a marginal difference in resources. If I were you I would try to hop on the research track at COMP-NW early on and get to work. Not to mention the large amount of 4th year rotations will likely play into our favor more than ever now.

I was also a borderline candidate for MD programs and I honestly wouldn’t want to apply again. From what I’ve seen, this process is too random to gamble away an acceptance. Everyone really just needs to chill out. Is it ideal? No. But programs that have been accepting osteopaths for years aren’t going to just stop. The specialties that have been traditionally DO friendly are still on the table. The game has just changed a little bit.
CCOM could theoretically allow PD's in Chicago to be more friendly to applicants now that name matters more (granted we are still talking DO here). And I was hoping that the 4th year rotations + CCOM connections would help with that whole game.

Also, I'm different from the guy mentioning COMP-NW, so I don't have that option open atm.

Reapping would require another MCAT for me, plus some more significant publications, which I don't know if I will have. That, and it would kill 2+ years of my life.

TBH, all I want to do is become a doctor in a larger city on a body of water. Family med, general internist, etc. Those are my goals
 
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Do you think anyone could look at my CV and tell me what I need to improve on. Just in case I decide to reapply.
I’ve gotten really bad advice from my pre-health advisors. I also want an opinion of how realistic improving is before I throw away an opportunity.
Honestly, I'd love to see it, but I can only give you opinions based on current experiences.
 

Natural Killer Cell

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I think it's easy to talk about reapplying when you're already years into med school. I applied extremely late and could have gotten MD if I reapplied early the next cycle. But this is an expensive and stressful process with no guarantees, a complete crapshoot. I will say that if I didn't get into my in-state public DO, I might have considered reapplying, but I was also in a more stable situation where I could have afforded to do that. Many people don't have the time, money, or place to do this.

It's not a race to get into med school however, so if you are borderline and have the means to try again, do so at your peril. I don't know how blacklisting works in the DO world nowadays if you reject an acceptance and try again a following cycle in case MD still doesn't work out.

Lastly think about your goals. I think we are all ambitious people to some extent, but I think many of us will be happy just being any kind of physician and making a stable income in a respected profession. There's more to life than medicine, and you can tailor your career around those other goals.
 
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I think it's easy to talk about reapplying when you're already years into med school. I applied extremely late and could have gotten MD if I reapplied early the next cycle. But this is an expensive and stressful process with no guarantees, a complete crapshoot. I will say that if I didn't get into my in-state public DO, I might have considered reapplying, but I was also in a more stable situation where I could have afforded to do that. Many people don't have the time, money, or place to do this.

It's not a race to get into med school however, so if you are borderline and have the means to try again, do so at your peril. I don't know how blacklisting works in the DO world nowadays if you reject an acceptance and try again a following cycle in case MD still doesn't work out.

Lastly think about your goals. I think we are all ambitious people to some extent, but I think many of us will be happy just being any kind of physician and making a stable income in a respected profession. There's more to life than medicine, and you can tailor your career around those other goals.
That's all very true. Reapplying, killing another year, etc is something I don't really want to do. I'm totally happy with family medicine / general IM, etc. The only thing that scares me / I know would drive me crazy is going rural. I just really... really don't like being in rural areas, or even smaller urban areas. So as long as those pathways are left open, I'm happy in life.
 

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That's all very true. Reapplying, killing another year, etc is something I don't really want to do. I'm totally happy with family medicine / general IM, etc. The only thing that scares me / I know would drive me crazy is going rural. I just really... really don't like being in rural areas, or even smaller urban areas. So as long as those pathways are left open, I'm happy in life.
Future of medicine is uncertain with how many new schools opening up (introducing more grads eventually into the job market), midlevels, and maybe systemic changes to health care (single-payer). Some cities are already saturated.

Well even if you have to practice more rural, you could always commute from a suburb outskirt of a major city.
 
Aug 6, 2019
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That's all very true. Reapplying, killing another year, etc is something I don't really want to do. I'm totally happy with family medicine / general IM, etc. The only thing that scares me / I know would drive me crazy is going rural. I just really... really don't like being in rural areas, or even smaller urban areas. So as long as those pathways are left open, I'm happy in life.
If anything, if you reapply and don't get in MD (assuming you get in DO) you are now stuck with even more people to compete with so it's a net negative. Not including the possibility of step 2 becoming pass/fail (which is small but still) which will completely screw over DOs.
 
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If anything, if you reapply and don't get in MD (assuming you get in DO) you are now stuck with even more people to compete with so it's a net negative. Not including the possibility of step 2 becoming pass/fail (which is small but still) which will completely screw over DOs.
Hello fellow midwesterner going to AZCOM. How did you not at least get II's with that LM score?
 
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Future of medicine is uncertain with how many new schools opening up (introducing more grads eventually into the job market), midlevels, and maybe systemic changes to health care (single-payer). Some cities are already saturated.

Well even if you have to practice more rural, you could always commute from a suburb outskirt of a major city.
That is a possibility. I've always loved Chicago and had it as my end goal, so that may also just work given how many people live in the area.
 
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I think everyone is reacting to this P/F change too drastically. If you are gunning for a super competitive residency well then nothing has really changed because DO's have only consistently matched with former AOA programs and they will continue to do so as nothing has changed with the Comlex. If you are trying for a decently competitive specialty then it may be harder now that there isn't a time to prove yourself with Step 1, but as it has been mentioned Step 2 CK will most likely take over as the stratifying metric. Comlex will also be used in evaluation and anyone who says otherwise is naïve to believe so. Other than that all you can do is your best. Network in medical school, participate in research when you can. If your school doesn't have this opportunity then you better be busting your butt over MS1-MS2 summer. Also participate with research during clinical years. Above all, realize that whatever happens now is out of your hands so stop stressing about it.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Comlex will also be used in evaluation and anyone who says otherwise is naïve to believe so.
Anyone who thinks COMLEX matters to these programs is naive.

Also, the NBOME is most likely going to make at least one, if not the entire COMLEX series, P/F as well. Read between the lines on their website.
 
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Also, the NBOME is most likely going to make at least one, if not the entire COMLEX series, P/F as well. Read between the lines on their website.
Where does it imply that?
 
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BorntobeDO?

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We have a waitlist to a very strange school that hasn't seemed to have given any IS acceptances due to some crazy changes, and than another private school that I'm waiting to hear back on after the interview. I just don't see having only 2 interviews of questionable quality granting me an A based on my results last cycle.

My guess is a bad LOR from someone, which I might have a clue who its from. My PI and I had a contentious relationship, as I came to find she disliked med school applicants rather than having PhD applicants. So that could be scaring people away.

What is typically the time people start getting their rejections for the schools having given out all their interviews. We are at 9 R's right now, whereas last cycle I didn't get any until the very end.

I've been trying to get someone from an adcom to review my app, but I'm at a big 10 and they have a very interesting way of selecting who gets their apps reviewed.
I still got interview till the very end. You need to dump that PI letter next app. See if one of the places that rejected you will confirm that the letter was the reason.
 
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I still got interview till the very end. You need to dump that PI letter next app. See if one of the places that rejected you will confirm that the letter was the reason.
Most have stated that they will not provide input as to why, but I'm going to try anyways because what do I have to lose?
 
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BorntobeDO?

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Most have stated that they will not provide input as to why, but I'm going to try anyways because what do I have to lose?
Ask them specifically about the letter. They might give an indication if you do. Try to work the human element.
 

Deecee2DO

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More specifically:

Obviously this is a serious blow, but is it significant enough to warrant taking a gap year to bolster my application for low/mid tier MD schools?
How much more difficult does this make it for DO's to compete with our MD colleagues when applying for residencies?
1000%. shoot for MD now
 
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Whysoez

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More specifically:

Obviously this is a serious blow, but is it significant enough to warrant taking a gap year to bolster my application for low/mid tier MD schools?
How much more difficult does this make it for DO's to compete with our MD colleagues when applying for residencies?
If your stats are truly what you mentioned in your previous posts, I would take the DO spot. It will not be easy for you to build up an MD app from those stats in 1 year.
 
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If your stats are truly what you mentioned in your previous posts, I would take the DO spot. It will not be easy for you to build up an MD app from those stats in 1 year.
Thanks for the advice,

I rewrote the MCAT and did a bit better, 509 (127/128/127/127).

I'm also a non-science major whose only science courses were the pre-reqs, so my SGPA would be fairly malleable should I try to fix it.

However, I don't think I would have a slam-dunk MD application by any means and have decided to take my DO spot and do everything I can in order to market myself optimally when it comes time to match.
 

BorntobeDO?

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Thanks for the advice,

I rewrote the MCAT and did a bit better, 509 (127/128/127/127).

I'm also a non-science major whose only science courses were the pre-reqs, so my SGPA would be fairly malleable should I try to fix it.

However, I don't think I would have a slam-dunk MD application by any means and have decided to take my DO spot and do everything I can in order to market myself optimally when it comes time to match.
As long as you are okay with primary care it will work out. Just remember you choose this path when your school starts shafting you. But many others have made it, you can too.
 

Deecee2DO

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Thanks for the advice,

I rewrote the MCAT and did a bit better, 509 (127/128/127/127).

I'm also a non-science major whose only science courses were the pre-reqs, so my SGPA would be fairly malleable should I try to fix it.

However, I don't think I would have a slam-dunk MD application by any means and have decided to take my DO spot and do everything I can in order to market myself optimally when it comes time to match.
If you go DO id recommend you start doing research asap lol regardless of the future landscape of medicine post 2022 it will help you. No doubt that when it does go P/F at that point your research and your connections that you make through research will carry you further than your classmates who have no research since youre all coming from a DO school with an assuming Pass for Step 1 without a numerical designation
 
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As long as you are okay with primary care it will work out. Just remember you choose this path when your school starts shafting you. But many others have made it, you can too.
Honestly any incoming med student outside of the T25 MDs should expect primary care as a decent to strong possibility. I think DOs will continue matching in all the fields that still have supply and demand for us, until it no longer exists. The removal of Step 1 cutoffs affects everyone.
 

Whysoez

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If you go DO id recommend you start doing research asap lol regardless of the future landscape of medicine post 2022 it will help you. No doubt that when it does go P/F at that point your research and your connections that you make through research will carry you further than your classmates who have no research since youre all coming from a DO school with an assuming Pass for Step 1 without a numerical designation
Easier said than done. Research opportunities for DOs are severely lacking, unfortunately. If all of the DOs in my upcoming class compete for a few bench research spots, it will be a bloodbath.
 

BorntobeDO?

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Honestly any incoming med student outside of the T25 MDs should expect primary care as a decent to strong possibility. I think DOs will continue matching in all the fields that still have supply and demand for us, until it no longer exists. The removal of Step 1 cutoffs affects everyone.
The type of primary care you get from MD (I.e. usually academic IM) is different than what DOs will get. But I agree that at first glance half of students go into primary care even from MD.
 

Cranjis McBasketball

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Serious question: Until COMLEX is pass/fail won't this help DO's get into more competitive specialties at the former AOA residencies?

If youre a former AOA general surgery (just an example) program and you have a bunch of MD applicants with just pass/fail step, but then have actual numbers for COMLEX wouldn't that help the DO applicants?
 

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Serious question: Until COMLEX is pass/fail won't this help DO's get into more competitive specialties at the former AOA residencies?

If youre a former AOA general surgery (just an example) program and you have a bunch of MD applicants with just pass/fail step, but then have actual numbers for COMLEX wouldn't that help the DO applicants?
question is are they going to take the time figure out what a COMLEX score even means given it's fluctuation over the past few years.
 

Cranjis McBasketball

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question is are they going to take the time figure out what a COMLEX score even means given it's fluctuation over the past few years.
You'd think if most of the faculty are DOs and its still a scored test that they would, but who knows.
 
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Deecee2DO

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Easier said than done. Research opportunities for DOs are severely lacking, unfortunately. If all of the DOs in my upcoming class compete for a few bench research spots, it will be a bloodbath.
Doesnt hurt to try but I get what youre saying. Send out mass emails as soon as you can youll land something if youre persistent. Dont not try because you think youll have a lot of competition blood bath or not you miss 100% of shots you dont take. You dont just get research out of it you could potentially get connections/mentorships etc. I know its easier said than done but so is getting accepted to med school which you have done already.
 

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Research this. Research that. I wish I had a P/F COMLEX and Step instead, would make things so much simpler for a village idiot like me. Once I get that numerical Step 1 score (RIP) this summer, I'm gunna need you ****ers to tell me what the hell I'm even competitive/good for with my random af research.
 

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Do you think anyone could look at my CV and tell me what I need to improve on. Just in case I decide to reapply.
I’ve gotten really bad advice from my pre-health advisors. I also want an opinion of how realistic improving is before I throw away an opportunity.
Ya dm me
 

Deecee2DO

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Research this. Research that. I wish I had a P/F COMLEX and Step instead, would make things so much simpler for a village idiot like me. Once I get that numerical Step 1 score (RIP) this summer, I'm gunna need you ****ers to tell me what the hell I'm even competitive/good for with my random af research.
Id take numerical step over Pass fail any day of the week buddy
 

libertyyne

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I applied to 39 total schools, of which 7 were DO, and were all +1/2 above my MCAT score or lower.
Although this is not the thread for it there are a number of things that can be going wrong . You could have a torpedo in your app. You could be from an unlucky state where a 512 won't buy you much, or you could have some other wierd vibe in your app.
 

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With the DO expansion and the upcoming change in Step 1 to P/F...

take a gap year (or two): get a job, make some money, have some fun, bolster your application for MD schools. Med schools like to see more mature applicants anyways.

The other positive of a gap year or two is the ability and time to seriously consider if medicine is what you want to do. Maybe you find something else you enjoy that provides a good income and doesn't destroy your body and soul for 7 years.
 
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Whysoez

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With the DO expansion and the upcoming change in Step 1 to P/F...

take a gap year (or two): get a job, make some money, have some fun, bolster your application for MD schools. Med schools like to see more mature applicants anyways.

The other positive of a gap year or two is the ability and time to seriously consider if medicine is what you want to do. Maybe you find something else you enjoy that provides a good income and doesn't destroy your body and soul for 7 years.
The bad side would be that things can be much worse in two years with the competition for MD and even DO school skyrocketing.
 

hallowmann

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The bad side would be that things can be much worse in two years with the competition for MD and even DO school skyrocketing.
To be completely honest, it feels like every year or every other year there's something new that moves the goal posts. The new MCAT, the merger, the dropping of grade replacement, school expansion, Step 1 becoming P/F, etc. This all adds another level of unpredictability to the whole process. You have no idea what the next change would be. The pre-med landscape is almost completely different than it was when I applied.

Because of all that, I honestly wouldn't postpone things more than a year if you did anything at all. The only way I would seriously consider it if I was borderline MD in terms of both stats and there was a complicating factor like applying late or something or if all I needed was a retake of the MCAT. Even then, its easy from the outside to advise people to drop there acceptances and reapply, its a lot harder to actually do that knowing full well you could easily not get into an MD school anyways because its a crap-shoot and would be exactly where you are but a year later.
 

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What's hilarious is that as recently as last year, there were tons of posts here asking if you should take the USMLE as a DO, suggesting that many candidates weren't even taking the USMLE. Suddenly, the USMLE is pass/fail and the sky is falling and no one should go to DO school.

Re: psych -- psych has become way more competitive in the past few years. As a psychiatrist with first-hand knowledge of many programs, I can tell you that Step 1 scores play little role in ranking. You have to pass, of course, but I have seen low scores beat high scores frequently. Tons of other things matter more in psych.
 

Ho0v-man

5+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
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Medical Student
What's hilarious is that as recently as last year, there were tons of posts here asking if you should take the USMLE as a DO, suggesting that many candidates weren't even taking the USMLE. Suddenly, the USMLE is pass/fail and the sky is falling and no one should go to DO school.

Re: psych -- psych has become way more competitive in the past few years. As a psychiatrist with first-hand knowledge of many programs, I can tell you that Step 1 scores play little role in ranking. You have to pass, of course, but I have seen low scores beat high scores frequently. Tons of other things matter more in psych.
That’s bc 1) school leadership at some schools is pretending the USMLE is not necessary due to the merger and 2) we all start realizing by the end of first semester how not awesome we turned out to be.

But over half of DO students do in fact take step 1 and it really is one of the only ways to stand out as a DO student post-merger in moderately competitive fields. Their concerns are valid bc the rug did literally just get pulled out from under anyone with desires of being a surgeon, dermatologists, radiologist, etc.
 

Mass Effect

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7+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2012
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Attending Physician
As long as you are okay with primary care it will work out. Just remember you choose this path when your school starts shafting you. But many others have made it, you can too.
The type of primary care you get from MD (I.e. usually academic IM) is different than what DOs will get. But I agree that at first glance half of students go into primary care even from MD.
Every single med school applicant and every single med student should be okay with primary care. If you're not, you shouldn't go to med school. Every year, there are people even on the MD side who fail to match. Everyone goes in thinking they're going to break records, get a 280 on Step 1, be told their God's gift to dermatology, but the reality is that most students will score average on Step 1 and many students will match primary care (or SOAP) when all is said and done.
 
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