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Help Please Re: DO Schools, etc...


Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 19, 2008
  1. Pre-Medical
    Would someone please help me understand the difference between a DO and an MD? I only superficially know that DO "focuses on the whole body" while MDs "focus on singular body systems." I've heard that there is (at least now) really not much of a difference between the 2, but there are at least some, right?

    I'm currently in a state of limbo...I took the MCAT in April and got a 29T. I have been out of school for over a year now (BS in Bio with a 3.2 GPA :() and am planning on re-taking the MCAT, although not sure when (I work full time, so it's tough to find the time to study).

    I am under the impression that DO might appeal to me more than MD, actually...but I want to be sure that I have the right information. It seems that maybe DOs are a different breed, even, than MDs, in the sense that there may be a big difference in personality and mind-set (NOT to generalize, and not trying to say one is > than the other - by no means)...

    How about the DOs here on this board, or those looking to go to a DO school - could you please be so kind as to share your insights?

    Thank you very much....

    I just thought of 1 last thing - how do you apply to DO schools? Is it through AMCAS, or something similar?

    Thanks again...


    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Dec 18, 2007
    1. Medical Student
      You will probably take some flak for posting this since this question comes up a couple of times a day and people get sick of answering it.

      Now that we've got that out of the way.....

      DOs will receive the same medical education that an MD receives PLUS some additional manipulative therapy training. This "treating the whole patient" stuff is mostly just talk. MDs treat the whole patient as well.

      Yes there probably is a different mindset among DOs but that, in my opinion, exists mainly because there are far more non-traditional applicants at DO schools. Many of us who end up going DO are older, some with families, most who have already experienced another career.

      Basically, in practice, there is no difference between a DO and an MD. The compensation is the same and the treatment methods are the same. Granted the DO has the additional OMT training, but most DOs admit that they rarely use it.

      You may face some resistance as a DO when applying to highly competitive MD residencies. BUT, if you do well enough on your boards you shouldn't have any problems being whatever kind of doctor you want.


      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      Feb 3, 2007
      In btwn here and there!
      1. Other Health Professions Student
        What I would do is to look at some of the DO school websites and read about what their view is.

        There are some philosophies that suggest that DOs look at the whole patient, but I think that is individualized as I'm sure that there are many MDs that might apply to that same "holistic" view.

        In training, DOs are trained in OMM/OMT, but if you've got two doctors in front of you, one a DO and the other MD, the only way you'll know the difference is probably by their badges.

        I think the best thing about DO schools is that they are more nontrad friendly and more forgiving of youthful indiscretions than allopathic schools.

        In the sense of applying, you go through AACOMAS.

        When it is time for me to apply, I will most likely apply to a majority of osteopathic schools and a handful of allopathic schools that are nontrad friendly and maybe one or two reach classes like Columbia and Cornell.


        Insert Custom User Title
        10+ Year Member
        Mar 24, 2008
        1. Medical Student
          And remember to take everything with a grain of salt here, especially anything from the pre-allo section.

          Early on, one may surmise that DOs are practitioners of ninja voodoo. But ultimately, DO=MD....it is up to you to work hard on whichever path you take.
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