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how difficult is it to get admitted to a DO program?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by JG777, May 17, 2002.

  1. JG777

    JG777 Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2000
    LA area, CA, USA
    I am currently going pre-optometry, but i stumbled across the pre-osteopathic zone. The ideologies of the profession really does sounds interesting. I was just curious how difficult it is to get in relative to an MD program. Are there many OD's practicing in CA? I looked and there were only 2 or 3 OD schools in CA. How are the lifestyles of OD's? Do OD's also specialize, for example in opthalmology? Oh and one more silly question: Why isn't it OD for osteopathic doctors? Could it be because they created OD first for optometrists? =)

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  3. Ice Man

    Ice Man Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2002
    DO admissions are a little different than MD admissions. They don't focus near as much on the scores, they just have a cut-off and then invite you for an interview and if they like you they say you are in. I don't know about all the schools, but the two I'm familiar with (My friends go to), do that. My example is my brother in law with killer MCAT/GPA didn't get into DO school (waitlisted), but got right into the state funded Allopathic school. It is not uncommon to see (DO) GPA 3.3/ MCAT 24 as an average, as compared to (MD) GPA 3.5/ MCAT 27.
  4. OsteoMed02

    OsteoMed02 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2001
    Norton Shores, MI
    Deciding to apply to DO schools takes a lot of thought and consideration. Not only should you have a thorough understanding of the profession, you should also have a service-oriented application. Total patient care, of course, is the focus of the D.O. philosophy. The admissions staff members tend to focus more on the person rather than the scores, but it is important to also prove that you can handle the academic rigors of medical school. Your program will be the same as the M.D. program, however, OMM will be included and the approach to instruction may be different. Depending on where you live, discrimination may or may not be an issue. I am from MI and there are a large number of D.O.'s practicing here. I believe that the differences are negligible insofar as ability is concerned. Also, D.O.'s can practice in any specialty they choose from family practice to neurosurgery. Good luck!

    MSUCOM Class of 2006
  5. conmantlc

    conmantlc Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    What is great about DO admissions is that they don't focus solely on numbers like allopathic programs do. They look at the whole package of an applicant to see how they would best fit the DO profession. I have a 3.4 and a 26S on the mcat, and I got into a few schools, im going to CCOM. Yet, my friend who has a 3.6, and 36 on mcats did not get into the schools where I was accepted (he doesnt interview well) yet he is going to allopathic. Allopathic schools seem only interested in people who can produce great numbers on scores and GPA, and they don't really care about any experience you have had other than research. I will refer you to <a href="," target="_blank">,</a> the official website of the american osteopathic organization for more info. Don't apply to DO as a "back-up" school, or just for the heck of it. the people who go DO understand and desire to study OMM and the osteopathic philosophy (at least most of them). The interviewers can see right through the people that don't really know much about the DO philosophy. You also need a DO rec letter so get to know one if you want to do that.
  6. drchris33

    drchris33 MSIV 7+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I agree with the other posters. I got into a DO school (applied to six, interviewed at 2, accepted into one); I am going to UHS this fall. I also applied to 13 allopathic schools....didn't even receive any interviews, not even from my own state school. The more I researched the DO philosophy, the more I liked it. I had about a 3.35 and a 21N on my MCAT, so DO schools definitely are not about all numbers. I just had a crap load of ECs as well as community involvement and health care experience.
    My advice is get a job as a nurse's aide, phlebotomist, EMT or ER tech and get some experience. This will be the most important in your decision to become a doctor. You may work for awhile and then decide that this isn't what you want to do. At least you will know before you go to school and waste buckoo time and money!!

  7. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I, too, was a Pre-Optometry student and was an Optician for 8 years before beginning medical schhol at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    The acronym D.O. was selected by Dr. Still because he named those who practiced his art, which was originally not recognized as a doctorate level degree, Diplomates of Osteopathy. That is why O.D. was not selected; it was never intended to stand for Osteopathic Doctor. After legislation was passed recognizing the doctorate level of the degree, the acronym was redefined to stand for Doctor of Osteopathy, then changed again in recent years to stand for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine to emphasize our total care for the patient and our status as unlimited physicians.

    FYI, however, Osteopathy has been a legitimate practice longer than Optometry, with the first Optometric legislation being passed in Minnesota in 1901. Prior to that, optometric practices, such as refraction, could be practiced, and commonly were practiced, by jewelers, the ones who made the spectacles. Osteopathic Medicine, founded by A.T. Still, M.D., in 1874, was first taught in an organized shool at the American School of Osteopathy (now KCOM) founded in 1892. The first legislation recognizing the degree was in Vermont in 1896.

    The interesting twist is that O.D. is used to denote a Doctor of Optometry, although that is no longer their official title. After legislation was passed allowing the prescribing rights of eye-related oral meds, the AOA (American Optometric Association) changed the official designation to Optometric Physician to emphasize the more primary eye care nature of their position. To change the acronym to O.P. would have just been confusing!
  8. Starboard

    Starboard Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by JG777:
    <strong> Are there many OD's practicing in CA? I looked and there were only 2 or 3 OD schools in CA. How are the lifestyles of OD's? Do OD's also specialize, for example in opthalmology?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">There are only 2 DO schools in California - COMP in Pomona, and TUCOM in Vallejo. (The med school at UCI was actually the original osteo school in calif.) And there are many DO's practicing in California.

    You don't hear much about either of these facts as a result of a state law passed in the 60's that required DO's to "become" MD's (by paying a fee to receive a MD license) or stop practicing. The law was eventually overturned as being unconstitutional, but in the 8 years or so that it was in effect it had drastic consequences for the osteopathic profession, Osteopathic schools and teaching hospitals were turned into allopathic facilities. As we know the creation of both med schools and hospitals depends heavily on public need, so the once the law was over turned, osteopathic professionals were forced to wait quite some time before an osteopathic school or hospital could be re-established.

    Moreover, the law effectively removed the term "osteopathic physician" from the public mind. The law existed just long enough to engrain in peoples' minds that you went to an MD for medical care. Even though osteopaths continued to practice in California, only lately has there been a resurgence in their popularity.

    Also you have to consider the impact of the insurance industry on health care. DO's are becoming more and more common as network providers for health insurance plans, but for quite sometime they weren't as common. And as insurance controls so much of patient care it's not surprising that this also limited patient contact with and knowledge of DO's.

    The lifestyle of a DO depends on the specialty they choose, just as with MD's - there's no limit to the practice or life style options of a DO.

    Good luck with optometry!
  9. dude7

    dude7 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2001
    Getting into a DO program can be as hard as you want it to be. Believe in the philosophy..keep up your decent on the MCAT..and do community service...most likely you are in!
  10. Doc Oc

    Doc Oc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    I go to UNECOM, and I'd say at least half of the members of my class have graduate degrees. Many were in the armed forces, quite a few were paramedics, a couple were nurses, 2-3 were physician's assistants, and nearly everyone else has held a job somewhere in the medical field, whether EMT in the ER, phlebotomist, medical assistant, or receptionist at a doctor's office. I can't speak for other schools, but I can say with confidence that UNE does not invite you for an interview simply because you were above their cutoff. They do have a cutoff, as most schools do, but that's really not enough. It's true that numbers aren't as important as the may be for allopathic schools, but they are there and they do matter. I'd say that medical experience and your extracurriculars and community activities are far more important than your numbers here. The most important aspect of D.O. admissions is the ability to talk sincerely and intelligently about your interest in the osteopathic field. It's pretty hard to skate through the interview without having a good knowledge base of the field. This is my guess as to why you will hear about people with a 3.8 GPA and 35 MCAT being rejected from D.O. schools. They're quite aware of the idea of using DO schools as a "back-up", and I bet they screen apps that way in addition to their regular "do you have what it takes to be a good doctor" screening. They want people who are loyal to the profession and who will be good DOs. As an aside, it's almost like sky-high numbers gives you, as the applicant, something you have to defend against else you're labelled a "wanna-be MD" and your app is rejected. That part is also a guess. Anyway, to answer your question, is it difficult to get admitted to a D.O. program: Yes, it is, but for different reasons.
  11. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2002
    Don't have too much to add, butI too am from Cali., San Diego area. If you look at the stats, California sits in the top 5 for having the most # of active DO's. We all know that Ca. is huge, so I am sure that has some bearing. Anyway, I have worked with, and run across many DOs here in my travels. I would definately suggest getting some experience with a DO, for that is a sure way to show your interest and devotion, if that is what you are going for. Good luck
  12. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Half the students at UNECOM have graduate level degrees?? I find this highly surprising! I am impressed to see 20% of a class with graduate-level degrees and a smattering of technical or professional degrees, such as RN or EMT.

    I am thoroughly amazed at members of my class, not only because we have a Pharm.D., physical therapists, chiropractors, nurses, EMTs, and other medically related professionals, but because of the personal background each brings with them. Some of these were interpreters or professional sports players, but would seem somehow less desirable by the standard implied by UNECOM.

    To have half of your class with graduate-level degrees would seem to make the school undesirable to those of us who only have a mere bachelor degree with years of experience in a professional field!
  13. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2002
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    You have recieved some great advice. All the responses are great. You need to be aware that admissions to Medical school is tough and very competitive, whether it's a DO program or an MD program.

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