Leaving Pod School, LORs?

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unusualonion

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Hi All,

I am a current first year at a podiatry school and am applying to DO schools next cycle. Long story short, after I got a 496 on the MCAT my pre-health advisor pushed me towards Pod. I am currently studying under much stricter circumstances with more resources and my practice scores are in the 510-515 range. I know I bear 100% of the responsibility for applying and matriculating but after a semester of classes and further digging, I find that podiatry may not be for me. I fell in love with the body during human anatomy dissection lab and realized that I wanted to pursue emergency med, internal med, or gen surg to be able to care for all systems of the body.

I am wondering what might be the best avenue for LORs. I still have a relationship with previous MDs I've shadowed/worked with as well as professors/department chairs from my undergrad and post-bacc institutions. Would it be worth asking current faculty for a letter or should I use my recommenders for pod school?

Thanks,
unusualonion

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You can use people from previous exposure. I’m not sure how a pod professor would take you asking them to write a LOR for another professional school. If you’re close enough with one then it might turn out good. It may be a good thing to have one but I don’t think there are enough people that leave pod for another professional school to know that answer.

Another question to think about is are you going to continue on with school while applying seeing as you might not get in? Or quit even if you don’t matriculate? If you get a decent mcat then I think you’ll have a decent enough shot seeing as there are so many DO schools opening up. There used to be the rule that jumping ship from one professional school to another was a death sentence but I don’t think that’s necessarily true anymore.
 
You can use people from previous exposure. I’m not sure how a pod professor would take you asking them to write a LOR for another professional school. If you’re close enough with one then it might turn out good. It may be a good thing to have one but I don’t think there are enough people that leave pod for another professional school to know that answer.

Another question to think about is are you going to continue on with school while applying seeing as you might not get in? Or quit even if you don’t matriculate? If you get a decent mcat then I think you’ll have a decent enough shot seeing as there are so many DO schools opening up. There used to be the rule that jumping ship from one professional school to another was a death sentence but I don’t think that’s necessarily true anymore.
Thanks for replying. I had the same feeling but I figured I'd put it out there for an opinion!

I am going to stay in my current pod school while applying bc I'm doing very well in the pre-clinical science classes that will directly correlate with MD/DO preclinical sciences so I figured why not get the knowledge and demonstrate that I know it with good grades as I go about applying. If I don't get in to DO this time, I'll probably stay in Pod school as the profession can still be somewhat close to what I want and then maybe reapply later in life and use my professional experience as personal statement fodder.

I am also 0% picky about schools and will be applying very widely with no geographical restrictions!
 
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Thanks for replying. I had the same feeling but I figured I'd put it out there for an opinion!

I am going to stay in my current pod school while applying bc I'm doing very well in the pre-clinical science classes that will directly correlate with MD/DO preclinical sciences so I figured why not get the knowledge and demonstrate that I know it with good grades as I go about applying. If I don't get in to DO this time, I'll probably stay in Pod school as the profession can still be somewhat close to what I want and then maybe reapply later in life and use my professional experience as personal statement fodder.

I am also 0% picky about schools and will be applying very widely with no geographical restrictions!
I think you should be fine then. There will be some newer DO school that will take a chance on you if you score well. Others may as well, but it’s more likely with the newer schools. If you absolutely want to do surgery then I’d recommend staying in pod though. Gen surg is doable for DO if you do well but it’s more competitive. IM and EM will be doable.

Just know that you will be very unlikely to reapply later in life. We get tired as we get older. At this point if I finished pod residency and was in practice, there is no way I’d go back to school. You eventually just realize it’s all patient care. We tend to want to deal with less and less system/problems as we go along.
 
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I think you should be fine then. There will be some newer DO school that will take a chance on you if you score well. Others may as well, but it’s more likely with the newer schools. If you absolutely want to do surgery then I’d recommend staying in pod though. Gen surg is doable for DO if you do well but it’s more competitive. IM and EM will be doable.

Just know that you will be very unlikely to reapply later in life. We get tired as we get older. At this point if I finished pod residency and was in practice, there is no way I’d go back to school. You eventually just realize it’s all patient care. We tend to want to deal with less and less system/problems as we go along.
Thanks for the encouragement. I know a lot of this hinges on my MCAT score which is crazy nerve wracking but I owe it to myself to re-test and give it a go before sticking with pod. My GPA is def on the lower end (cGPA 3.3 and sGPA: 3.2) but I have the volunteering, shadowing, and clinical experience part down (several thousands/hundreds of hours in each category). Same with LOR (with your advice!). My personal statement kind of synthesizes the passing of a sibling while I was in undergrad (part of the reason my GPA is low), why im choosing to leave pod/why im choosing DO, and my belief that the study of medicine is the best way to improve the human condition.

I'm hoping it'll be enough, even if it means Big Sky country out in ID, MT, UT

Thanks again!
unusualonion
 
I think you should be fine then. There will be some newer DO school that will take a chance on you if you score well. Others may as well, but it’s more likely with the newer schools. If you absolutely want to do surgery then I’d recommend staying in pod though. Gen surg is doable for DO if you do well but it’s more competitive. IM and EM will be doable.

Just know that you will be very unlikely to reapply later in life. We get tired as we get older. At this point if I finished pod residency and was in practice, there is no way I’d go back to school. You eventually just realize it’s all patient care. We tend to want to deal with less and less system/problems as we go along.
what kind of fellow are you if you don't mind me asking
 
Drop out from pod school if you're serious. Otherwise, I wouldn't take you seriously as a candidate and would think you'd just continue in pod if you didn't get into DO school. At that point, I might as well give a shot to someone else and you can stay a pod
 
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Drop out from pod school if you're serious. Otherwise, I wouldn't take you seriously as a candidate and would think you'd just continue in pod if you didn't get into DO school. At that point, I might as well give a shot to someone else and you can stay a pod
Calm down buddy, it's DO school. With the nonsensical criteria that many schools have it's probably better that they have a backup option.
 
Calm down buddy, it's DO school. With the nonsensical criteria that many schools have it's probably better that they have a backup option.
I don't see where you think I'm not calm?

This is reality. Most people that apply don't get into DO school
 
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I don't see where you think I'm not calm?

This is reality. Most people that apply don't get into DO school
Having the typical cookie-cutter academic qualities as well as their DPM background will make them stand out. Telling them to drop out of their program before they've secured any spot is detrimental.
 
Having the typical cookie-cutter academic qualities as well as their DPM background will make them stand out. Telling them to drop out of their program before they've secured any spot is detrimental.
It won't make him stand out in a good way. He's either serious about medicine or he isn't. Telling someone to spend an additional 25k if they really don't want to be a pod, is actually detrimental
 
Drop out from pod school if you're serious. Otherwise, I wouldn't take you seriously as a candidate and would think you'd just continue in pod if you didn't get into DO school. At that point, I might as well give a shot to someone else and you can stay a pod
So I've spoken with recruiting/admissions counselors at two different DO schools and the general consensus is that they don't really care whether I stay in my program or not. One notably mentioned that it will work to my advantage with respect to demonstrating I can handle graduate medical classes.

They also mentioned that because AACOMAS will include my Pod grades in GPA calculations, it may benefit me to stay in, at least through the summer 2023 semester to have a full year of grades in the books. I know, two "data" points does not make for a sound study but one of the programs is newer and the other has been around for a while. I also understand that these people tend to encourage everyone to apply (gotta get that supplemental app $). I've considered taking a year long LOA and I still may after the first full year so that if I do return, I can return without repeating any classes.

Thanks for the positivity though!
 
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So I've spoken with recruiting/admissions counselors at two different DO schools and the general consensus is that they don't really care whether I stay in my program or not. One notably mentioned that it will work to my advantage with respect to demonstrating I can handle graduate medical classes.

They also mentioned that because AACOMAS will include my Pod grades in GPA calculations, it may benefit me to stay in, at least through the summer 2023 semester to have a full year of grades in the books. I know, two "data" points does not make for a sound study but one of the programs is newer and the other has been around for a while. I also understand that these people tend to encourage everyone to apply (gotta get that supplemental app $). I've considered taking a year long LOA and I still may after the first full year so that if I do return, I can return without repeating any classes.

Thanks for the positivity though!
If those schools feel that way and you wish to attend there, I think it is fine to follow their advice
 
First, my college roomie is a country DPM. My wife and I are overpriced specialists. If I found his checkbook in the parking lot, I would burn mine. So, they are well compensated. I think if you have competitive MCAT, grades, and LORs, you will get some interest. Providing you can explain why they should accept you at the expense of another school who can't replace you, i.e., lost tuition. Explain why you won't wailk on them. I pushed the Dean at my school to accept a family friends Top 500 Law.Firm, lawyer applicant. They really didn't want to accept them, but did as a courtesy. They had good stats. After the 1st yr of pre clinical, they dropped out with a 3.5 GPA. Being in their mid 30s, they didn't like their station in life as a lowly med student amongst much younger classmates. The Dean STILL brings it up years later!
Seriously, I only recommend new DO schools if they are your only option. It takes 5 to 7 yrs to get the faculty and curriculum up to speed. Better someone else be part of their learning curve. Don't be afraid to target some of the more traditional schools. They have a regional reputation when it comes to matching. Good luck and best wishes!
 
First, my college roomie is a country DPM. My wife and I are overpriced specialists. If I found his checkbook in the parking lot, I would burn mine. So, they are well compensated. I think if you have competitive MCAT, grades, and LORs, you will get some interest. Providing you can explain why they should accept you at the expense of another school who can't replace you, i.e., lost tuition. Explain why you won't wailk on them. I pushed the Dean at my school to accept a family friends Top 500 Law.Firm, lawyer applicant. They really didn't want to accept them, but did as a courtesy. They had good stats. After the 1st yr of pre clinical, they dropped out with a 3.5 GPA. Being in their mid 30s, they didn't like their station in life as a lowly med student amongst much younger classmates. The Dean STILL brings it up years later!
Seriously, I only recommend new DO schools if they are your only option. It takes 5 to 7 yrs to get the faculty and curriculum up to speed. Better someone else be part of their learning curve. Don't be afraid to target some of the more traditional schools. They have a regional reputation when it comes to matching. Good luck and best wishes!
Thanks for the reply!

The "country DPM" you mentioned is what I'm finding to be the most common scenario but, generally, those are older specialists who have an established patient load. The field is graduating 600+ residents (with more coming since 2 new schools opened up) and theres only so many well paid country DPM spots to fill. Most of the new grad private practice associate jobs pay ~100k which is peanuts when you're 300k in debt. Unlike literally any other specialty, there are like no hospital-based podiatry jobs. What hospital jobs there are, don't pay as well as other specialties and theres 100s of applicants. The ROI is increasingly not worth it, especially with medicaid cutting podiatry reimbursement rates. It appears podiatry is undergoing a renaissance, going so far as to knock at the USMLE door and asking to take the exam. I'm glad that the field is changing for the safety of patients but I can't, in good faith, stake my life on this upheaval of the field. Maybe in 10+ years and some leadership change Podiatry will be different

As for the school stuff, I'm working on my MCAT (low score and bad advising got me into this podiatry mess) with my current practice scores around 510-515 and hoping to crack 518. Undergrad GPA is about 3.3 with multiple semesters on Deans List and huge upward trend. Pod School is 3.7 with Deans List. LORs include department chair of my major, biochem prof, and a physician I've shadowed/worked in research with. 1000s of hours as en EMT/ clinical tech in ICU (esp during COVID), 100s hours volunteering, etc. I think on paper I look OK. Using my PS to address the questions you raised and explain a few semesters of low GPA (loss of a sibling to cancer). I have absolutely no preference about school or program type (MD/DO). New schools don't scare/bother me either.

I'm 1st gen college, 1st person to have any degree in my fam so having someone nudge a dean would be nice lol. That's a huge favor and I'm sorry it didn't work out though.

Anyway, thanks for the positivity!
 
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You are welcome!. I would only add what you see in Podiatry is happening across medicine. Secondly, there is no mid-level encroachment in podiatry. Anyway all the best in whatever you do!
 
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