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Help me out, here...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by wheels, Jul 27, 2000.

  1. wheels

    wheels Junior Member

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    I've been using this website for some time. On the whole I've learned a lot, and I can't thank everyone enough for that. I can only hope that maybe some of you have benefited from something I've posted. There are quite a number of interesting thinkers out there, so I put this question to you now. Let me say that it;s important to read the whole post all the way through (not that you wouldn't).

    I've been thinking about this for some time, and though I'm sure this isn't the first time it's been asked here, but I haven't seen it put in this form.

    A number of posts here say that one really shouldn't apply to osteopathic schools unless -- and this is a direct quote -- "you have osteopathy in your heart." There is absolutely nothing wrong with this sentiment. One of the prevailing themes of this forum is that one should examine osteopathic physicians (i.e. shadowing, communicating), read about osteopathy, etc., and make sure it's "right" for them. We put osteopathy up as something that appeals only to a certain type of person and that it's requires a different type of human being to be an osteopathic doctor. BUT THEN, we turn around and say that when it comes time to be a doctor, DOs and MDs are the same!

    Does anybody see a contradiction here? Why is osteopathy different or desirous of one type of person in the beginning only to produce a similar (save OMT) physician in the end? I am aware of the conventional wisdom as far as what sorts of physicians that DO schools produce -- focused more on primary care, more "holistic" (a hackneyed term), closer to patients, etc. People then say that this is the type of physician they want to be, so they say they were made for osteopathy. That's great, seriously. But in fact, are many of us not fooling ourselves? Are we applying to DO schools for that reason and that one only, or are we simply not wanting to admit that we are applying to them because our stats might not be good enough to get into MD schools (note: this is NOT equivalent to saying that those people don't deserve to be doctors)?

    My personal situation is that my stats are just about average for mid-range MD schools and so a bit better for DO schools. I have been to both types of doctors in my life as a patient and have noticed no difference in their behavior or demeanor. I have worked alongside both types of doctors for years with no evidence to support that they are any different. I have spoken with many friends of mine who are either medical students or already doctors who say that in the field there is ZERO difference between the two. One MD friend of mine said it well, I think -- "There's no difference, except that the DO maybe, MAYBE didn't do as well in undergrad and/or the MCAT as an MD. Since undergrad is virtually irrelevant to the type of doctor you are, then the type of degree doesn't matter. And the primary-care focus and "close to patients" thing that DOs claim, well, that's up to the individual person whether they're a DO or an MD. You can be the type of person you want after you've taken the degree no matter what it is."

    So please help me work this out. I look forward to your opinions, as usual.

    Thanks in advance--

    --Wheels
     
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  3. reed0104

    reed0104 Senior Member

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    My opinion is...you're right.

    The best analogy I could think of is the difference between a PA and a Nurse Prac. Are they the same?...kind of. They have very similar privilages and jobs, but different backgrounds and grade points. (I'm guessing)

    Is one profession a lesser, more/less holistic, better clinician...etc.

    It all depends on the person.
     
  4. DoctorK

    DoctorK Member

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    I think that one of the underlying reasons that people say "you must have osteopathy in your heart" is that there is potential to become bitter about being a DO instead of an MD. I'm certainly not trying to start a flame war (I'm going to be a DO!), I only mean that there is potential for frustration when a DO student/resident/physician realizes that he/she will never be an MD. It's something you have to take to heart at some point: are you the kind of person who will be satisfied knowing you'll never be an MD? Hopefully that question will be answered honestly before med school starts, but what if you wake up one day and realize you're angry because you aren't going to be an MD?

    For many people I've encountered, the question is not "Do I want to be a more holistic physician?" Medicine has been moving toward the holistic approach, and will continue. Some of my friends who were accepted to both MD and DO schools chose MD, but just barely. They really liked the osteopathic approach, but just not quite enough to make a life-long decision to commit to osteopathic medicine. They might pick up OMT with some continuing ed, but they couldn't give up the MD title. Some of my other friends would have liked to have done osteopathic medicine, but couldn't move away from home because of family obligations, and ended up going to med school in their hometown.

    I was admitted to both MD and DO schools. I chose the DO school for many reasons, but I did have to do some soul-searching to see if I could live with that decision. If I didn't have the choice, I probably would have always wondered if I could have gotten into MD school. I don't think the issue is as easy as "MD's and DO's are the same except for OMT." Maybe I haven't really answered any of your questions, but I don't think there are any clear answers. Anyone else?

    ------------------
    We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams.

    --Willy Wonka
     
  5. myrnafir

    myrnafir Member

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    For me, the decision was based on not only my past experiences and my desire to use OMT in practice and my leaning towards primary care, but it was also the philosophy under which you are taught. I personally thought that going to a school that has been traditionally steeped in holistic principles was the best way for me to learn medicine. I agree, though, that a lot of MD and DO schools are converging in regards to treating the patient holistically. But if you don't feel comfortable learning and practicing OMT, don't go to a DO school- I heard some students are arguing to curtail the OMT training at some schools- to that I say, then you shouldn't have gone to a DO school. And there are some DO schools that are almost like MD schools, but with a bit of OMT tossed in with an option of an OMT fellowship. You just have to pick the best school for YOU, whether it is MD or DO. A lot of people don't care whether they get into DO or MD school, as long as they're going to be doctors, but still, it's four years of training that will follow you through the rest of your career- so I suggest that no matter what you are, pre-osteomed or pre-med, choose carefully and really know what you're getting yourself into.
     

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