Lower MCAT score for DO Schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Amitha726, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. Why is it "easier" to get into DO schools than MD schools? I know that DOs are not considered inferior (at least they shouldn't be). Do these schools have lower standards? Fewer applicants? If MD and DO are so much alike, I'm wondering why I only applied to allopathic schools...
     
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  3. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Who said anything about it being easier to get into DO school? A lower MCAT doesn't necessarily imply that admissions standards at DO schools are lower than at MD schools, it merely means that DO schools have a slightly different admission standard. The view many take with DO admissions is that they're looking for someone who's into more things than just numbers. Take that for what it's worth -- I've never been able to figure it out myself. [​IMG]


    Tim W. of N.Y.C.
     
  4. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Osteopathic medical schools are also looking for individuals who truly want to be DO's and not MD-wannabes. It's a matter of professional survival.

    Hence, if they have an applicant with a 30 MCAT who is luke-warm on osteopathic medicine and ONLY applied to DO schools because it was just another opportunity to become a physician versus an applicant with a 27 MCAT whose personal statement clearly details a personal knowledge of osteopathic medicine and an interest in primary care (a central mission for most DO schools), can you blame the admissions committee for taking the applicant with the lower MCAT?

    It's kind of a no-brainer...
     
  5. MSafur

    MSafur Senior Member

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    Numbers don't mean anything. I know of someone who had a 34 on his MCAT, got his MS from Georgetown, and had a 3.8 gpa. He was rejected from 3 DO schools, but was accepted to MD schools.
    DO schools are more concerned about the person behind the numbers. Some people with great stats may not have the greatest personality and may not be cut out to handle medicine and vice versa.
    All DO schools (I may be wrong) have people who have PhDs and are professionals in other fields, so you are against many well-qualified individuals. This is not to discourage you, but to show you that DO schools have a different criteria in selecting their students.
     
  6. sethpol

    sethpol Member

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    I read in an article that MD schools have enough space for 1 in 3 applicants, whereas DO schools have space for 1 in 4.

    During my interview at NOVA (interviewed by 3 trustees and the Chancellor) I was told that they look at grades, but care mostly about the person.

    [This message has been edited by sethpol (edited 02-05-2001).]
     
  7. mcprotein

    mcprotein Junior Member

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    Do schools look @ more than just numbers. They like to see the non-traditional student applicant. So dont be fooled by the lower mcats. These applicants have many more qualifications/life experiences.
     
  8. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    As a follow up...

    When will we (as and "we" I mean a collective society) get to the point where a question such as this is not asked?

    When will things be such that there is no longer ignorance about Osteopathic medicine and Osteopathic medical school?

    Does the Osteopathic community need to "promote" themselves more?

    As I once heard at an open house, "There are Chiropractors on every corner...when will DO's have the same exposure?"

    Not to compare DO's with Chiropractors, but maybe something can be learned from the way they advertise their profession (despite how you feel about Chiropractors, you must admit they do have exposure).

    As a future physician (I hope) this is an issue that concerns me, as it should other people interested in pursuing a career as a physician, particularly an osteopathic physician.



    ------------------
    Joshua Paul Hazelton, CNA, EMT-B
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (2002)
    "D.O. Wannabe"
     
  9. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    At MSU-COM, they told me they mainly look at grades...but I could see through them! They were staring at my SHOES the entire time!
    They only care about footwear, how very strange.
    So, my recommendation is that you ONLY buy Kenneth Cole. ONLY. That is how I got in and now I am a superhero.

    You can't touch this!
    MC Hammer
     
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  10. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    It is possible that the reason that D.O. schools may only have room for 1 in 4 applicants is the false impression that D.O. schools are easier to get into and hence more people apply. Having a large applicant pool is a benefit to the profession as it allows selectivity. This of course leaves the possibility that some people that are well-suited to become physicians cannot because they are, for one reason or another, not selected. But, and more importantly, the selectivity keeps out those that are not fit to be physicians (a profession in which it is a matter of life and death that it is held to high standards).
     
  11. youngjock

    youngjock Banned
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    do schools do not consider math as science!

    obviously do doctors are no good, because they are not sophicicated enough to do math!

     
  12. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son

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    ...another sloppy turd of wisdom falls from the mouth/anus of youngjock! Enlightening!

    -d

     
  13. PV1

    PV1

    hmmm not to start anythin but i believe it is spelled this way ----> sophisticated [​IMG]
     
  14. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    Youngjock,

    Math is an art, not a science. I'm not saying this because I hate math... heck, I'm a physics and math student! But the point is, if you study math in detail, and take courses like analysis, abstract algebra, you will see that math is about IDEAS and does not involve the scientific process, namely, state a hypothesis and verify or disprove it by experiment. In math, we define things, and use those definitions to derive/prove theorems. There is no science involved... that's not to say it's not a difficult discipline. It is. And I believe it is tougher than all of the other sciences, including physics.
     


  15. As an M.D. applicant, I believe that many fellow applicants have this biased view of D.O. schools because their lower MCAT standards. If the test is not a priority or essential in a D.O. school's admissions process, then maybe they should collectively stop using the test as an admissions criteria and requirement. Maybe this will end the foolish comparison and the 'looking down' upon schools which feel it is not priority #1.

    Just some food for thought.
     
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  17. cjw0918

    cjw0918 Senior Member

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    I think on the whole, the DO schools' MCAT avg. is only 1-2 points lower than the avg. overall for MD schools. Do pre-meds really think it's worth splitting hairs over 2 lousy points? If so, that's laughable and reflects the immaturity of some of the applicants in the applicant pool. I think this mentality pervades many pre-meds' minds because, by en large, pre-meds are a very competitive, performance oriented group- that is the nature of our American eduaction system. It's all about the product, not the process. While I agree that is necessary to establish some sort of standard for aspiring physicians, the sheer volume of applicants itself ensures that medical schools can be quite selective in admitting students. It's not as though DO medical schools are grappling at students simply to fill their classes- they have plenty of choice. Bottom line: as long as there is competition, the cream will rise to the top and the question of lax admission standards is a moot point.
     
  18. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member

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    I think I shall destroy Youngjockstrap with my Freedom ray!
    Since we are talking about good vs. bad and high vs. low MCAT scores...at Meharry the average MCAT is 22.7...does that mean all graduates from that institution are inferior?? Even with the mighty MD behind their name??

     
  19. richierich

    richierich Senior Member

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    I am a student in an allopathic medical school that is actually a DO should -a-been. Having been accepted to UHS and KCOM and even turned down a couple other invitations for interviews, I found it no problem to matriculate into a school in which the mean MCAT is almost a 31 and a GPA of 3.85 with a MCAT of 27 and a GPA of 3.3. What has to be remembered is these are averages. I know there are several people in my class that have a 4.0 and >34, the are the academic type and not suited to the Osteopathic profession. I first noticed a difference in the interview 'classes' at the different schools. At the DO schools, I was average in age at 26 where as at the MD schools I was/am in the upper portion of the age curve.

    An amusing thing happened just the other day, as I am sitting in class when one of my classmates was saying something about '...those people that go to school for like two years and then practice medicine.' I aske if he was talking about PA's and he replied a resounding "NO,.. I think they are ..you know like chiropractors..." "Osteopaths," I asked. "Yes, Yes,...." I proceded to educate him on the profession and how it parallels allopathy in education and qualifications. Osteopaths will perculate throughout society, I hope without losing their/your identity.

    Finally, I would like to report that our school is at least teaching in a psychosocial model instead of the antiquated biomedical model.

    Good luck,

    Richard
     
  20. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    It is my experience that the student population at most DO schools can be broken down into thirds: one third of the class really wanted to go to a DO school, educated themselves about OMM, and had some personal experience with osteopathic medicine; the second third applied to both MD and DO schools and was pleased as punch to get in some place and have the opportunity to study medicine and become a physician; the final third applied to DO schools as back-ups only, didn't get into an MD school and resent being at a DO school.

    That final third is an interesting group and I think worthy of research. I think that most (maybe approaching 90%), over time and with increasing experience in their clinical medical education, end-up becoming very comfortable with their "osteopathicness." Some of the best OMM fellows or OMM TA's I know, only got involved with OMT and teaching students as a way to "disprove" the validity of OMT. Then, perhaps they have an experience or treat a family member with some kind of musculoskeletal problem and begin to get interested in the whole process.

    However, a minority of these students in the final third never really come around. They keep on resenting just about everything about their medical education and seem to find the energy to voice their complaints about it endlessly: The profession is TOO primary care-oriented; the profession is too narrow-minded and reactionary (a criticism often times not altogether without merit), OMM is waste of time--it's voodoo, it's placebo, it's just about touching patients--the two professions should merge, the public is confused by the difference between MD vs DO; there really is no difference between the allopathic and osteopathic approaches to patient care; there's too much philosophy; the philosophy is stupid and doesn't matter; osteopathic hospitals are weak training institutions; the tuition at DO schools is too high; the AOA is too oppressive; the list goes on and on and on and on...

    It's my observation that what happens over time is that this very small (but vocal) minority becomes increasingly segregated from the rest of their classmates. They don't participate in very many class events, they don't hold club or student government positions, they certainly don't participate in OMM-related activities, in short, they don't have fun in medical school. They belly-ache...a lot.

    Their situation has always struck me as kind of sad. That is why I (and other like-minded moderators or premedical advisors) tend to offer the same advice to premeds considering the whole DO vs MD dilemma: If, in your own mind, you really don't think that you'd be happy at a DO school, don't apply. Medical school is too long, too demanding, and too arduous an endeavor to wake-up every day and hate where you are or what you're learning. Go off-shore, apply only to MD-schools, consider PA or NP programs, whatever. It's just not worth it to be THAT miserable day in and day out.

    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited 02-24-2001).]
     
  21. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    This was taken off one of the diary pages. Someone had asked about the MCAT and why MCATs are, on average, lower at DO schools.

    It's important to understand exactly what the MCAT measures and what it doesn't measure. The MCAT does not measure clinical ability or predict how competent a physician a student will go on to become. It only measures the risk of poor academic performance during medical school. That is, students with consistency LOW MCATs are likely to encounter academic difficulty in medical school; while students with average or high MCATs are unlikely to have significant problems. MCAT scores at DO schools are not low; they are usually 1-3 points lower than most MD schools. Notice that higher MCATs don't ensure better overall performance during medical school.

    For a variety of reasons, the student with the highest MCATs doesn't always make it to the top of the class. That's because doing wll in medical school (and being a good physician in general) depends on a variety of factors: Personality traits, study habits, and motivation. If there exists a bias against DO's it is only on a case-by-case basis. It is also predominantly in the status-conscious premedical community. Some individuals may not be familiar with DOs or may be misinformed regarding osteopathic training, philosophy, and scope of practice. There is no "allopathic conspiracy" against DOs (anymore). Of course, during the 1960's, organized allopathic medicine did try to annihilate DO's---but in recent years both kinds of doctors have learned to play nicely in the same sandbox.

    I urge you to do some research about the validity of traditional predictors (MCAT and GPA) versus nontraditional predictors (leadership, life experience, personality factors) of success in medical school before posting comments on public forums. Well intentioned but inaccurate information is useful to no one.


    ---- PURPOSE: To predict medical school performance by investigating the relationship among students' cognitive abilities and personality traits. METHODS: A sample of students (N=97) from the 1985 entering class at UCLA Medical School were studied. Medical school performance was measured by utilizing GPA for clinical course work (obstetrics, pediatrics, surgery, and medicine); cognitive ability (grades in 15 basic science courses and NBME parts 1 and 2 scores); weighted GPA (the average of clinical GPA and basic science GPA) and; overall evaluation (scored on a scale of 1 to 9 -- balancing achievement in course work and clinical practice, class rank, interpersonal relationships, etc.). The predictors used, in two separate multiple regression analyses, were cognitive skills (the sum of MCAT scores from the pre-1991 version of the test and total premedical GPA) and personality traits (measured by the Comrey Personality Scale). The Comrey Personality Scale is comprised of 180 items which form 40 homogenous item dimensions measuring eight personality factors, one validity (V) scale, and one response-bias (R) scale. The personality factors are: trust vs. defensiveness, orderliness vs lack of compulsion, social conformity vs. rebelliousness, activity vs. lack of energy, emotional stability vs. neuroticism, extroversion vs. introversion, mental toughness vs. emotional sensitivity and, empathy vs. egocentrism. The cognitive ability predictors were analyzed with a linear regression model whereas the personality traits were analyzed with a nonlinear model. RESULTS: MCAT scores and premedical GPA, when used together, were considered to be important predictors of cognitive ability (R=.65). When the premedical GPA was partialed out of this correlation, the correlation between the MCAT score and cognitive score was .63. When the cognitive MCAT score was partialed out of this correlation, the correlation between premedical GPA and cognitive score was only .17. Personality traits were found to be significantly related to academic performance. The CPS V score had a positive linear relationship with cognitive ability, overall GPA, and clinical GPA. Predictive power decreased when clinical performance and personal suitability were part of the performance evaluation. A quadratic relationship was found between a number of the personality traits and several medical school performance measures. CONCLUSIONS: The authors found that MCAT scores were strong predictors of medical school performance. Students' MCAT scores were highly correlated (R=.67) with their cognitive performance (basic science GPAs and NBME test scores). When personality traits and MCAT scores were used together as predictors, prediction of medical school performance increased by 20% to 51%. Multiple regression analyses indicated that different personality traits are incorporated in different types of medical school performances. Therefore, the authors caution that the use of only a few personality traits to predict personal suitability on all medical school performance measures is not realistic. The authors suggested that cross-validation studies are warranted due to the relative small sample size of their study.


    ------ PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate the relationship between non-academic variables and medical students' academic performance and to compare the relationships across two different types of medical schools. METHODS: The sample consisted of 104 students from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) and 102 students from Howard University Collegeof Medicine (HUCM) who had each completed the Noncognitive Variables Questionnaire1 for medical students (NVQ-MS). Three non-academic constructs were created through a factor analysis (commitment/leadership, motivation, and expected difficulty). Academic variables included undergraduate GPA, MCAT scores, and college quality. All factors were correlated with the mean of first-semester grades. RESULTS: Significant Pearson correlations for MCP indicated that motivation (r=.23) and commitment/leadership (r=.27) correlated with first semester grades. Only expected academic difficulty correlated with first semester grades for HUCM (r=.27). MCAT scores and undergraduate GPA correlated with first semester grades at both institutions (r=.48 and r=.47, respectively, for MCP; r=.35 and r=.27 for HUCM). Multiple regression analysis of all factors indicated that academic variables accounted for 39% of MCP's variance in grades but only 20% of HUCM's variance. Non-academic variables did not add to the explained variance in grades for either institution. CONCLUSIONS: The authors concluded that both non-academic and academic factors are related to medical school performance. Additionally, the authors cautioned that while academic factors appeared to be better indicators of academic achievement, they might not be equally predictive across institutions. They emphasized that determining which non-academic and academic variables are the best predictors of academic achievement in various medical school environments is critical.
     

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