Medical How should I choose between two early assurance programs?

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Hello, my dilemma is as follows:

I have been accepted to an Early Acceptance program with a local lower quality D.O. school for which my requirement to take the MCAT is waived, and I can matriculate after my third year of undergraduate study. This school in particular is within commuting distance, which would save money that I would otherwise spend on room/board, and as well, the tuition is significantly cheaper than the other option. Also, with this option, there is a route for me to do an accelerated pathway if I enter primary care, in which I would only be spending three years in medical school, which would further reduce the cost of attendance.

My second option is that I've received conditional acceptance to a (more expensive) M.D. state school that is contingent upon my MCAT score being at or above the mean scores (per subsection) of the previous matriculating class. If the score is lower than desired, other academic requirements can be added, and if low enough, they may ask that the exam be retaken. However, in this program, I do not matriculate after my third year of undergraduate study; I must wait until the "fourth", but since I have met the requirements to graduate in three years, I will basically be taking a "gap year" before I matriculate. What I would do with this gap year, I'm not quite sure at this point.

I'm mainly interested in practicing internal medicine. I know this very well may change in medical school, and I intend to keep my options open, but this does make me highly consider the D.O. school because of the reduced cost and time associated with it. I realize that if I were interested in a competitive specialty, the M.D. state school would be the obvious choice. However, it's difficult to justify spending a significantly higher amount of money and time at the M.D. state school if the end result would be the same in both cases.

Other factors to note: I do not carry any undergraduate debt, I am currently in my third (and last) year of undergrad, and I am intending to use primary care scholarships to partially cover the cost of my medical education. I have a competitive GPA with a fair amount of extracurriculars, and partly what pains me about the D.O. option is that I (and many of my advisors) feel that I may be "selling myself short"

Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.
Which DO school? PM me if needed.

IM is very DO friendly.


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Oct 27, 2013
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While I'm not a fan of the particular DO school in reference, I do think that it may be the better option for you at this moment.

1) no weight on an MCAT which is a contingency for the other and you never know how it will turn out
2) Cost savings based on where you live
3) while a free gap year is great, with COVID still active, what that year will look like it questionable in which if COVID is still here, you're better off getting a jump start on med school
4) savings on tuition

The ONLY "negative" is that it's not MD while you technically have an option for MD, even though it's not really an option as much as it is a possibility there there is still an outstanding contingency . This isn't even a negative IMO unless you want Derm or ortho or something. And even that is relative.

Good luck.
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