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Let's Settle this. How hard is it for a DO to become a cosmetic plastic surgeon?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by PlasticMan, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    I've seen a couple threads talking about how difficult it is for a DO to become a plastic surgeon. But then again, I've seen posts discussing that someone could just match into a general surgery residency and then do a cosmetic fellowship(which isn't too competitive). So let's settle this: How difficult is it for a DO to become a cosmetic plastic surgeon? I'm pretty set on becoming one, and have applied to both MD and DO schools. If I go the DO route, how difficult will it be for me to obtain a fellowship, considering, I'm really only interested in cosmetic surgeries? Now whichever route, PRS residency, plastics fellowship or cosmetic fellowship does not matter so much to me, so long as I am proficient and certified to perform cosmetic procedures.
     
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  3. docbill

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  4. misparas

    misparas Senior Member
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    I heard that D.O.'s can only be primary care, in rural areas, making $30,000 a year, working in low light conditions. Is that right???
     
  5. OSUdoc08

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    What a helpful post!

    :sleep:
     
  6. cabinbuilder

    cabinbuilder Urgent Care Physician
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    R U KIDDING ME??? Learn the FACTS before you spout nonsense and stupidity. DO's are not limited.
     
  7. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    ROTFL!! :laugh:
     
  8. jgl1980

    jgl1980 Senior Member
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    lighten' up! I sensed a bit of sarcasm in his post! :laugh:
     
  9. OSUdoc08

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    A person that is curious about this and doesn't know such information may not sense the sarcasm.

    Keep in mind there are all levels of readers here.
     
  10. djnels01

    djnels01 "You're the man now dog!"
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    misparas that's f'n hilarious!

    P.S. Don't forget that DO's who want to be something other than Primary Care actually have to PAY the hospital/clinic they work for. They accumulate a lifetime of debt and then die and pass it on to their kids. This ensures that the number of DO's will always be far less than MD's...
     
  11. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    How hard is relative. There isn't a LOD that will yield a numerical answer.
    You should also post this in the Plastic Surgery Subforum of the Surgery forum for the most accurate response.
     
  12. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    Should I repost this on the other forum or wait for a mod to move it? I'd hate to clutter the board with redundant threads.
     
  13. misparas

    misparas Senior Member
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    You're right.... sorry about the sarcasm. Some people on the board can't handle that and I should respect them as people too. Sorry.

    I step aside, and wish to hear your never ending wisdom in answering the OP's question.
     
  14. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    Well it's just I see debates on here about how difficult it is for DO's to get into plastics, but they never clarify if they are speaking about integrated PRS, plastics fellowships or cosmetic fellowships. I'm seriously considering DO school, but have to know that I can become a cosmetic plastic surgeon no matter what the means. As long as I know, it is relatively feasible to go DO -> gen surg residency -> cosmetic fellowship I'll be happy :) I just wanted some re-assurance.
     
  15. misparas

    misparas Senior Member
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    PlasticMan

    It's a fine question. I'm honestly not sure how hard it i would be. I know that some programs are harder to match in than others. This is for both D.O.'s and M.D.'s. Some programs do discriminate against D.O.'s, although I beleive there are fewer all the time. However, the AOA has four plastics residencies. Check out http://opportunities.aoa-net.org to search for any Osteopath only residencies. I know they don't discriminate against D.O.'s. I'm sure it's still "hard", good luck in school!
     
  16. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Dude, regardless of "how hard" it is exactly for DOs to do plastic surgery, or whether it's "possible" - it's ****ing hard, much harder than for MDs. If you want to do plastic surgery and can get into an MD school, go. If not, then no point to the question.
     
  17. jgl1980

    jgl1980 Senior Member
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    to answer your question -

    Impossible - No
    F****ing hard - YES
     
  18. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    Once again, are you speaking about plastics or a COSMETIC fellowship? I have read on this board that the cosmetic fellowships are not competitive at all. This is what I am asking...
     
  19. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Both. Besides, why make it any more difficult on yourself potentially? Like I said, if you can go to an MD school, you won't have to worry about any of this. Is there a reason you want to go to a DO school?
     
  20. Taus

    Taus .
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    well...I wouldn't go as far as saying he won't have to worry about "any" of this as an MD (jk..i know what you meant)....regardless...it will be f***ing brutal as an MD to get to your goal and somewhat harder as a DO. How much harder?...very tough to quantify...just knowing that its harder should be enough.

    Since you apparently have acceptances to MD schools...is there something Osteopathic that you wish to incorporate into Plastic Surgery? If so, by all means become a DO, but if not, you may attain your goal somewhat easier by being an MD.

    I don't know how much clearer it could be...I don't mean to be a d**k, but people have been telling you the same thing for weeks now.
     
  21. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    I have applied both MD and DO, but have yet to be accepted. My stats are competitive for DO, but low for MD. If I get accepted to DO and not MD this cycle, I would like to begin DO school rather than wait another year, retake the MCAT, do research and waste money and time doing a master's to try to gain acceptance into an MD school which won't be guaranteed anyway. Hence the worrying about difficulty for a DO becoming a cosmetic surgeon...
     
  22. Shodddy18

    Shodddy18 Senior Member
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    Only if there are no MDs within a 20 mile radius.
     
  23. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    Geeze, why are you worrying yourself so much about DO and plastics? The question you should be asking is

    1. Which Medical school would you feel comfortable at (whether MD, DO, Caribbean, Africa, North pole etc)?

    2. Which medical school will best cater to your needs?

    3.How to excel in med school.

    4. Research opportunities (publications; something you might need for a competitive residency)

    5. How to best choose a Medical School, etc?


    Who knows after, basic sciences you might decide to go into proctology, Family, research, etc. Hence all you have to worry about is HOW to EXCEL and what you need to do (research etc to become a competitive residency candidate in the future. Lets face the fact. USMD doesn't guarantee a plastic spot. You still have to excel and do research, etc.

    I personally think you can get into any specialty you desire, whether you choose USMD, DO, Caribbean, or North Pole etc. Don't let people discourage you by showing you numbers and stats. Remember if something has not been done B4, you can always be the first to do it.

    I have seen folks come from little villages in Africa; India etc. migrate to US, get accepted to med school and become prominent physicians. And guess what, all along the way, people told them it's impossible. Even Ben Carlson (Chairman of Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins) was called a dummy as a child, but still became one of the best pediatric Neurosurgeons in the world.

    GOOD LUCK, and do what you gotta do.
    Peace out
     
  24. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    Dr. MAXY, THANK YOU for the encouraging response. There is no doubt in my mind I will accomplish my goals. I think you are right. If/when I go to interviews I will see how best the school fits me and where I can excel :)
     
  25. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    You are very welcome. GOOD LUCK.
     
  26. jon62781

    jon62781 Member
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    Yes, there all levels of readers here, but if you are too stupid to understand sarcasm, maybe you should go to studentmcdonalds.net instead of SDN....

    Lighten up everyone.... Med school is a party, right?
     
  27. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Sure, and brain damaged people can lead normal lives sometimes, but I wouldn't recommend self-induced head trauma.
    DO WHATEVER WILL GIVE YOU YOUR BEST CHANCE OF ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS (MD IF YOU CAN GET IN, DO IF YOU CANT).
    It's not hard to figure out.
    As far as taking the extra year to get into an MD school, if you are really set on plastic surgery, I would recommend that. In the long run, one more year isn't going to be that big of a deal, and you should be able to increase your MCAT score significantly in that time. Pursue your dreams and don't settle unless you absolutely have to.
     
  28. EastCoaster78

    EastCoaster78 Senior Member
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    Yeah, I've been going to the same party for four months now, and in no way is that depressing.
     
  29. toofache32

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    Just curious....why plastic surgery?
     
  30. lama

    lama Member
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    The answer to your question is this: First, a legitimate PRS fellowship is difficult for ANYONE. Forget the categorical spots, you have to be superman to get into one of those: a 250+ USMLE, research in the field, and an uncle who happens to be a PRS program director. For PRS fellowships, your talking about the creme de la creme of general surgery residents where 40-60 apply for one spot. Many of the top allopathic g.s. residents aren't able to secure a spot in these highly sought after spots even after years of repeated attempts. There are currently two Osteopathic PRS programs and a couple more are on the way. These are relatively just as competitive.

    A "Cosmetic" fellowship is a bit of a nuance depending on who you ask. For the ENT's and PRS rejects, they will claim that it is a legitimate alternative to a real PRS fellowship. PRS-trained plastic surgeons will tell you that anyone that hasn't done the PRS training is operating at their own peril. It would be tauntamount to a Cesna pilot trying to fly a fighter jet. He's a pilot, but he wasn't trained for all potential mishaps or the highly technical details of his trade. Sooner or later when the "Cosmetic" surgeon gets sued and legit PRS surgeons are brought in for testimony against the cosmetic surgeon (none will testify for the surgeon), the cosmetic guy wont have a leg to stand on. The PRS guys wont vouch for someone that did a few months of training in face-lifts and boob jobs and is only in the field because of consumer ignorance.

    For a DO to get a legitimate MD categorical PRS or fellowship PRS spot is damn near impossible. It has been done, but the odds are highly against it. It would be easier for a DO to do a osteopathic gen surg residency then go onto an osteopathic PRS fellowship, but it would still be highly competitive. Anyone, DO or MD could get a "Cosmetic" fellowship without problem. But the rhetorical question to you is, is it worth it?
     
  31. toofache32

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    Not to quibble, but this generally describes the experience that PRS residents get with cosmetic procedures.
     
  32. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    It's very lucrative :p j/k I'll paste what I posted in another thread:

    I had cosmetic surgery 3 years ago that corrected a very embarrassing condition. It has allowed me to stop living as a recluse, given me much drive in my studies and will propel me in becoming a leader in cosmetic plastic surgery. However, the first couple years at college before I had the surgery, I was extremely lazy and had no motivation so that hurt my GPA. After my surgery, my childhood dream of becoming a surgeon was re-awakened within, and now I knew exactly what kind of surgeon I would become.

    And I have the scars to prove it ;)
     
  33. Pharos

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    Wow....it's interesting to see what drives people. Good Luck either way!
     
  34. lama

    lama Member
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    Not to quibble, but placing implants or suctioning fat is NOT the issue. You could teach a monkey how to operate. It's the COMPLICATIONS of surgery that the undertrained ENT, OMFS, or Cosmetic guys are not prepared for.
     
  35. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    Would a general surgeon who did a cosmetic fellowship not be prepared for these complications?
     
  36. toofache32

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    I agree that a monkey can be a carpenter and that the management of complications is an important part of surgical training. But I don't quite see how plastic surgeons have a monopoly on this knowledge/experience. I'm not sure what they think the ENTs/Oral surgeons do all day.

    Then again, it's probably the same mentality of oral surgeons making fun of plastic surgeons trying to manage the occlusion (or malocclusion) in orthognathic cases.
     
  37. lama

    lama Member
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    1. Managing complication IS surgery.

    2. ENT = ear/nose/throat
    OMFS = maxilla/mandible
    Cosmetic = con man

    Stay within your realm of expertise. You weren't trained in the other parts of the body and you operate at your own peril if you think can. I can accept that most ENT's are better at rhinoplasty and OMFS's are better at clefts and jaw reconstruction. The problem I have is with the former trying to go below the neck just to get a piece of the cosmetic cash pie. You don't see orthopods doing CABG's or Urologists doing Fem-Pops. PRS's are trained in the entire body, albeit less specific to the head and neck than ENT/OMFS. You cannot argue that ENT's or OMFS have any business doing augmentation or lipo.
     
  38. lama

    lama Member
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    I think you already know the answer to that.
    Why get as close to the edge of "getting away with something" as you possibly can? Why not strive to get the best training possible so you will have complete confidence in your ability? Better training means better surgeon means better outcomes.
    The purpose of the thread was to "settle how hard it is for a DO to become a cosmetic surgeon". The answer is not hard at all, but there is a risk and an opportunity missed. To become a board-certified PRS, you will have stiff competition but you will be well-trained and you will have the confidence of your patients and collegues that you are prepared.
    Good luck with you education/training. I wish you the best.
     
  39. NTM

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    I totally agree. Lets all be realistic here. MD's residencies such as Plastics is considered one of the hardest residencies to land. I have nothing against DO's...a DO is even my primary, but thats exactly the point. DO's were created to focus on primary and preventive care as Dr. Still envisioned. The holistic approach right? I like it, its great, but the fact that you are asking if a DO can do plastics kinda reveals the truth about most DO's...you figure it out. Anyways, good luck.
     
  40. toofache32

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    Now that I agree with. OMFS surgeons harvest their own iliac crests, ribs, abdominal fat, etc. but this is a far cry from being familiar with abdominal/breast surgery. Furthermore, there are no provisions made for these procedures under the Amer. Board of OMS, whereas facial cosmetics accounts for ~15-20% of the board exam. This is one area where I depart from some of my colleagues' opinions.
     

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