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How hard is it to get into DO vs. MD?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Bob Hanrahan, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Bob Hanrahan

    Bob Hanrahan Junior Member

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    I have heard many stories about how incredibly tough it is to get into MD school. Is is any easier to get into a DO school? If so, how much easier?
     
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  3. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    how much easier? Are you serious? How can you quantify the process? you want someone to say it's 18.40% easier?


    It's not necessarily easier, the impression that it is easier comes from, the on average, lower GPA and MCAT scores of DO schools in comparison to MD programs. However, they look at other less tangible qualities, like commitment to Osteopathy, maturity, etc..

    So, you need to have shadowed a DO, shown interest, etc.

    And there are MD programs with lower numbers than some DO programs like Ponce, Meharry, Howard, so MD vs. DO isn't a categorical analysis.

    Having noted all of this, I would say that you might find yourself more competitive at DO schools, if you have lower stats, than you would at MD schools. For example, 7 and 8's on the MCAT would make you competitive at most DO programs, however, it would probably kill your application at many MD programs.

    BUt you must realize that no person can tell you how much easier and if it is in fact easier with some sort of meaningful value. Look at the number of applicants applying to a place like PCOM and check out their acceptance rate, I'm guessing it's low. You could probably find some MD programs that you have a better chance at than PCOm, especially if you're in an instate resident. Some MD programs take a huge amount of their instate students.
     
  4. smgilles

    smgilles Senior Member
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    I would say a lot easier to get into a DO. Just read the recent posts you will see people with <20 MCAT scores being accepted. "Most" MD schools won't look at you unless your MCAT is >27 and >3.3 Science GPA. It also appears the FLECOM school is having problems filling the class so they are starting to take less than "stellar" applicants. Anyway that's is what we hear out here on the Mother-ship, aka LECOM.
     
  5. Monkeyguts

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    Not true. I didn't and had great success with DO schools (at least the ones that don't require a DO letter of recommendation, but I didn't apply to those).
     
  6. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    I can remember reading profiles back in the day that were saying if you send a MD LOR the schools did not say anything about it.
     
  7. Docgeorge

    Docgeorge Bent Over and Violated
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    My class avg GPA was 3.53 and approx. 8.3 avg mcat(not a 100% sure on that one but it close to that). I also interview prospective students and I can honestly say that I dont think I've seen some one with a 20, let alone below 20 MCAT come across my path.
     
  8. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    Typically, DO schools can be compared, admission standard wise, to most public state allopathic schools. Most DO schools have a 3.4/3.3 average cumulative/science GPA, while most state MD schools are around 3.5/3.4 -- not a huge difference. The state school here has an average MCAT of 8,8,8.
     
  9. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    The question is if you had an in state MD option, and if the stats are the same, you should get in both schools, why would you choose to pay private school tuition to go to the DO school?

    My point is that i dont think comparing in state to DO answers the OP's question. His/Her comparison would between an "average" md school and an "average" do school rather than your specific example.

    Anyways, its already been stated. While the average DO stats are lower than MDs, DO programs tend to look at different aspects of the application so it doesnt necessarily make it easier than MD.
     
  10. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I think if you have lower stats (below 27 MCAT and a lower gpa), you still have a shot at a DO school but you improve your chances by knowing about osteopathy. It would be best to shadow a DO or two and have knowledge of the history of DOs so that you have something to talk about at your interviews.
     
  11. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    I don't agree with this at all. There are a few state schools with mcat averages of around 27(louisiana is one that comes to mind), but the gpa is 3.6+ at most of these state schools. But these are the "easy" states. Plenty of non-cali states have averages over 30. I'd say the average state allopathic school is pretty close to the overall allopathic average....maybe 3.58/29.3 or something. Not really close to osteopathic averages.

    Also note that some of the lowest allopathic schools(by stats) aren't state schools and a few of the highest are. Plenty of people would die to go to their state allopathic school rather than private schools out of the top 20.
     
  12. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician
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    if you look at the number of applicants, there are usually more DO applicants per available seat than in allopathic schools. Also, while the applicant pool overall may be a little lower in scores on the osteopathic side, the matriculant scores are pretty darn close (when you don't consider the top tier allopathic institutions).
     
  13. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    What kind of comparison is that? Why don't we compare the allopathic schools to the osteopathic schools without comparing the top tier DO schools?That would just make about as much sense.
     
  14. bigmuny

    bigmuny Senior Member
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    My finances look great when I don't consider all my student debt.
    More applicants per seat does not imply more difficult to gain admissions. The easiest MD or DO programs to gain admissions at generally have the most applicants per seat(Finch, Drexel, ect..).
     
  15. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician
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    You have to compare apples with apples, oranges with oranges. I'm sorry, but UCSF doesn't compare with Drexel, Harvard doesn't compare to Finch. The top tier schools aren't accessible to most students let alone good students. I'll try to dig up some numbers to prove my point. When you compare the majority of MD schools to DO schools there isn't much difference.
     
  16. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    The difference in the average gpa/mcat between Harvard and Drexel(about .2-.25 and 3 mcat points) is less than the difference in average stats between Drexel and most DO schools.

    I'd agree that schools like Harvard aren't accessible to most good students, but I think their mcat average was 11.1 and their gpa was 3.74. This is similar to a lot of schools ranked #15-30, which are accessible to many good students. The difference is that at schools like Harvard stats don't even get you going in the right direction neccessarily. At the much lower ranked schools with similar numbers like Vandy, Chicago, etc they will.

    You can keep repeating that there isn't much difference between MD schools and DO schools in terms of gpa/mcat averages, but it simply isn't true. "Safety" allopathic schools like Drexel, NYMC, Jefferson, etc have mcat/gpa averages of 3.55/30. I don't see how that compares in any way to osteopathic schools.
     
  17. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician
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    Look, I'm not arguing you that allopathic schools "in general" have better scores than osteopathic schools. But the scores for the allopathic schools aren't going anywhere, and the DO schools are continually increasing their standards due to an increasingly more competitive applicant pool. In ten years, it'll probably be a wash. The MD schools on average are connected with more prestigious universities, both public and private. But things are changing, we are getting more research dollars and people are beginning to take a deeper look at us. Legally we are exactly the same, we have the same practice rights, can compete for the same residencies and the same jobs. I don't want to get involved in another bs MD vs. DO thread. It's a waste of time and silly. I am going to be a DO and I'm proud of my future profession and its history. I didn't apply to MD schools because I wanted to be a DO.

    Anyway, here are the scores for the schools we were talking about (from their respective websites).

    GPA MCAT
    UCSF 3.76 33
    Harvard 3.8 33.2
    Drexel 3.45 29.5
    Finch 3.43 28
    Tucom 3.5 26

    The average 2001 MCAT and GPAs for (from the AAMC and AACOM websites). I listed the 2001 numbers because the 2003 numbers weren't available from AACOM:

    Allopathic schools - 29.6, 3.60
    Osteopathic schools - 24.62, 3.5

    Oh, and I found this in case you were interested.

    wbdo
     
  18. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    At my interview at Drexel, they told us that last year the average overall gpa was a 3.4 and the average MCAT was a 29. At Western/COMP, last year the average gpa was a 3.5 and the average MCAT was a 27. Those stats seem comparable to me.
     
  19. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    Well put it this way. There are tons of students who still apply to DO schools as backups. Yes I know there are some who only apply DO and some that go over allopathic schools. But I have yet to see anyone apply to US allopathic schools as a backup to DO programs.

    BTW comparing the very bottom of the barrel MD programs such as Drexel and Finch is rather silly unless you are comparing them to bottom of the barrel DO programs.
     
  20. docslytherin

    docslytherin Tenacious D.O.
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    i applied md as a backup. i wanted to go to an osteopathic school. philosophically, it is (as far as i am concerned) a better mode of practicing medicine. so i got in where i wanted to go (KCOM) and pulled all of my md applications. i will grant you that there are people who apply to DO as backups, but what you will find is that those people who aren't happy with the letters DO after their names are the ones who dropout or are asked to leave. if you have to have MD after your name, then going to an osteopathic school is going to haunt you for the rest of your life.

    there are always going to be exceptions to numbers. i'm sure you can find someone with a 20 mcat at an md school as i'm sure you can find one at a do school. it just doesn't matter. all of this "is it easier" garbage is irrelevent. if you want to be an MD go to an allopathic school. don't "settle" for something that is going to affect you for the rest of your life.

    entrance numbers are not indicative of the quality of the program. it's that simple. and contrary to what people might want to tell you, mcat is NOT a predictor of performance in med school. some of the people with the highest MCATs in my class have failed out this year and some of the people with the lowest scores are near the top. it's all about motivation and how happy you are with your choice. if you have a 25 and want to be an MD, but settle for a DO school, you're not going to be nearly as excited about memorizing the steps in bile acid synthesis as you will be if you're doing the work at an MD program.

    and ultimately, patients won't care if you're an MD or a DO. what they will care about is how you treat them and interact with them when they come to see you.

    finally, the thing about medical school (and really any schooling in general) is that you get out what you put in. if you work hard and focus at the school with the lowest entrance stats, you can smoke the boards. on the other hand, you can skirt by at harvard and not learn the information as well as you could have. where you go to school is not indicative of the amount of information you'll learn.
     
  21. HoudyK

    HoudyK Member
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    University of Iowa this year is close to a 31 MCAT and 3.8 GPA. That is my "easy" state school for ya. Most state public MD schools still have considerably higher stats than the private D.O. schools whether people like it or not. Also, I knew a girl that got in with a 21 MCAT and this other kid has claimed to me that his dad is so powerful he got into Yale for next year without the MCAT. The admissions process is twisted.
     
  22. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    But you're comparing one of the worst allopathic schools(a backup for practically everyone) to perhaps the most competitive DO school. If you're argument is that the worst MD schools are only slightly more competitive than the best DO schools(stats-wise), I would agree with this.

    Also, I would argue that Drexel's match list is a good bit better. Although some of that may be due to self-selection and personal preferance.
     
  23. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    I totally agree that MD and DO practice rights are the same. For certain students, I've always advocated that DO schools are good fits for them. They don't happen to be good fits for me, but every student is different.

    Note that in the stats you posted there is an almost 5 point difference in average mcat scores. That is a large difference....for a comparison, that is the difference between the lowest ranked non-URM md schools(drexel, finch) and the highest ranked md schools. I don't think anyone would argue that there this little difference between the competitiveness of gettting into Penn vs. Drexel.

    Also, the link you provided must be old or something. Northwestern doesn't have anywhere close to an mcat average of 29. It's closer to 33. Most of the allopathic schools in this range have an average between 31-33. WashU has an average of almost 37 now, not 11.3 per subsection.

    DO's can become physicians of very high quality...just like allopathic students. the numbers just don't indicate that Do students have the same average entering stats as MD students, or that DO students match as well. But as always, it is dependent on the individual.....
     
  24. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
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    Smartest thing posted on this whole topic thus far.
     
  25. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician
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    thats why I got out of it when I did. Stupid thing to argue. After all, we're on our way to being physicians, that's what I care about. I don't know about the rest of these people. I think we should argue about who has hotter wives/girlfriends, DO students or MD students...anyone?
     
  26. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    or we can argue about the timeless topic of DO vs. MD phallice size.
     
  27. bigmuny

    bigmuny Senior Member
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    That's not an argument. Everyone knows DOs are better endowed. I can post the articles that have looked at it if that is really necessary.
     
  28. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Must be all that manipulation. ;)
     
  29. 34140

    34140 Senior Member
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    So you need to have a letter of recom from a DO to applyn to a DO school? I didn't know that, can any one confrim?
     
  30. Fin-Nor

    Fin-Nor ******
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    some schools do ask for them... like a prereq.
     
  31. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician
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    It's not required but it's very recommended. It shows dedication to the profession. It also shows that you are somewhat educated about the profession. I know plenty of people, though, who are at DO schools and had MD LORs.
     

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