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Legit question about DO vs MD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by xylem29, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. xylem29

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm thinking of going DO if I can't get into an MD school (don't attack me :) , I'm just trying to be practical, if medicine doesn't work out I'll glady go dental too. Anyway, I'm under the impression that DO's can match into a wider variety of specialities compared to Carribean grads, that's why I'd choose DO.

    Now, I know that matching into specialties depends on your med school grades, LOR's, USLME's, etc but I read that the majority of DO's go into primary care - is there a reason for this?

    When you're in med school, do DO's and MD's have the same opportunities to do observerships and electives in the same hospitals, ability to obtain research projects in the summer at a teaching hospital etc - you know, all the things that would help make you more competitive for the more competitive specialties? Because I don't understand why the majority of DO's go into primary care, unless a lot of students had this mind to begin with, or perhaps the education moves students in this direction - I assume that for most students going to med school - DO or MD - there's a good mix of students who want to do different specialties. Thus, is there some sort of bias against DO's in this regard? In terms getting the opportunities to match into say rad or path or something like that...is it a bit skewed towards MD graduates? I'm not asking about salary or anything, I'm asking about whetehr the opportunities are the same.

    For example, doing a DO degree in the US, does not give you the same opportunities as doing an MD degree in the US for Canadian citizens wishing to do a residency in Canada - you're limited to FP (or primary care, I think, but I could be wrong). This is the current situation, it could change of course in a couple years. (docbill, correct me if i'm wrong)
     
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  3. JonnyG

    JonnyG IN the hospitals....
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    DO schools promote the primary care fields leading to a large number of primary care providers. DOs go into all fields though and some schools such as PCOM produce more specialists then many MD schools.
     
  4. xylem29

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    Hmm. I read on the TPR site that when you do your clinical rotations, you do them in community hospitals and doctor's offices? I also remember reading something about certain electives programs not allowing osteo students to apply or something? I think it was in the thread about AMA trying to reduce discrimination against DO's.
     
  5. Kuba

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    You can't generalize like that. Some schools that may be the case, while others have their own university hospitals. Some MD programs also only do clinical rotaions in small community hospitals and doctors offices(Washington U, anyone?)
     
  6. xylem29

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    So would doing your rotations in a comm hosp or doc's office somehow disadvantage you? What are the advantages? (other than promoting primary care clinical skills).
     
  7. JonnyG

    JonnyG IN the hospitals....
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    u actually do things. At many big hospitals you do mostly watching
     
  8. San_Juan_Sun

    San_Juan_Sun Professor of Life
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    Thse are just generalizations, but in my experience:

    PROS

    1. More bedside, 1 on 1 teaching from your attendings

    2. More opportunity to do procedures, etc (For example, I delivered 13 babies in my 1st OB rotation, and scrubbed for 7 C-sections. I have friends at some allo programs who rarely got to be in the room for a delivery, at only touched the placenta at best.)

    3. Better hours. While not always the case, my private attendings seemed to be a little more motivated to see patients efficiently, which meant more study time for me.

    CONS

    1. Less structured teaching. Morning report, noon conference, etc. And getting pimped on rounds in an academic setting forces you to be ready for anything. In a slightly less intense community atmosphere, I still was able to learn, but it wasn't quite as strong. This may be attending dependant, however, whcich leads to point #2...

    2. Lack of exposure to more attendings, who in the academic setting are often supremely qualififed in their fields. One other point, I think it helps a lot to watch your attending do an exam on your patient. You learn a ton just by watching them. This is not completely exlusive to academia however.

    3. Not being exposed to the residency-based model. You may know a lot, but if you can't work within the system on your audition rotation to show off that knowledge, what has it profited you?

    4. What happens if you get a crappy attending? This actually can happen a lot. Being stuck with someone that is either incompetent, a jerk, or both for one month is painful. Especially if you don't have the buffer of residents, interns, and other students around.


    Anyways, I think there are good things about both models. If I could do my third year all over again, I would do 3-4 rotations with excellent preceptors, and the rest in an academic program setting. My school is also starting to get big into what they call "departmental" rotations. For example, on surgery they have an agreement with a hospital that allows the students to patricipate with whatever surgeons are operating that day. This way, they'll get lots of OR time, and then they'll have to follow with the patients they've been in the OR with. I'm not sure how it all works, but I think it is kind of interesting.
     

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