Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
15+ Year Member
- Apr 25, 2008
- Reaction score
I have been accepted to NYITCOM (DO program in NY) and I have also been accepted to Howard University (MD program) and I'm not sure which one to pick! I am leaning towards NY because they have a global health center and research areas I am more interested in, also I love the DO philosophy and I would love to learn about OMM. The MD program is, well, an MD program, closer to home and much less expensive (44,000 dollars less!) Many people are advising me to do the MD program d/t the program and lower cost but I really like the DO one. Is there a significant difference between MD and DO other than residency? I don't care to specialize too much (including surgery) and right now I see myself doing primary care/pediatrics/internal med because I love the focus on preventative medicine and shorter residency period.
This is a complicated question. First of all, to address a few points - the "DO philosophy" might have been a differentiating thing once upon a time (in the 19th century) but these days everyone advocates for treating the whole person. In fact, if I had to pick a school that probably has the most emphasis on the full biopsychosocial model of care, Howard is probably close to the top of the list, given its history as a HBCU. They really do have an emphasis on serving the underserved, even if it more locally than a global health focus.
The other thing is that at this point, you truly don't know what you want to do. Yeah, you're thinking of primary care right now, but what if you fall in love with a different field? I changed my mind two or three times, and I literally had friends who ended up specializing in fields that they categorically excluded the first day of med school. It happens. Anti-DO bias for residency programs still exists, though it's certainly less than it used to be.
Next, cost is huge. $44k difference AND it favors the MD school? Not to mention your cost of living in Washington, DC will almost certainly be lower than NYC.
Plus closer to home is good for stress.
Really, the only benefit to the DO school is likely the OMM training - and I honestly don't think that outweighs the rest.