MD or DO?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by ntxawmx, Dec 6, 1999.

  1. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member

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    I'm sure this is not a new topic for this forum but because I'm new, I'm going to ask it. If anyone can point me to some archives that have this discussion, I'd appreciate it.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages to attending an allopathic or osteopathic school of medicine? Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter because either way, I get to practice medicine and help others. But am I being naive or plain ignorant in thinking that?

    Do many pre-med student typically apply to both programs? med schools look upon applying for both types of schools negatively?

    Any words of advice?

    Yer
     
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  3. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member

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    Well, I'll give my two cents about your questions, and I'm sure everyone on this website will be happy to give them your opinions as well.

    When it comes to the ability to practice medicine, yes, it doesn't matter.

    However, it's the type of medicince that you want to practice that could be a difference. Though both MD and DO can do general practice or specialize, most osteopathic physicians tend to enter family practice rather than specialize. That is because there is a stronger push for DO's to enter family practice. Also, if you are interested in learning osteoapathic manipulation, then you can apply this manual medicine as a supplement to the conventional medicine you will practice, or even if you desire, solely practice osteopathic manipulation. The OMM is another tool that an osteopathic physician can use to diagnose and treat a patient than an allotpathic physician cannot.

    As to applying, there are different types of pre-meds. You have the pre-meds who have decided that DO is the way for them onlyl (like myself), you have pre-meds who take the "shotgun" approach and apply to both and will take any school that will take them, pre-meds that apply to both and use DO schools as backups, or pre-meds that have been rejected from MD schools and apply to DO schools just to become a doctor (MD wanna-be's).

    If you apply to DO school, you should really want to become a DO. I feel that though there are many similarities between MDs and DOs, it's the difference that counts. You have to realize that if you become a DO, you may have to explain what a DO is to the layperson, and you may face some prejudice because of your choice. But, if you really are happy being a DO (which I will be) then none of that will matter.

    My advice: research all that you can about osteopathic medicine. This website is a great place to start. Volunteer/Shadow a DO and ask about their experience in medical school and in the medical field, and if you can, try and find one that does OMM (this does make a difference!). Go to an osteopathic awareness conference at a med school, or just visit an osteopathic medical school and see what they are all about. After doing all that, you should know if you really are genuinely intersted in becoming a DO.

    I personally think that applying to both shows that there is some doubt in a pre-meds choice. The truth is that it is easier to get into DO schools, but that is because DO schools tend to look more at the entire applicant than just his/her numbers. I mean, if you don't believe in the philosophy or in the applications of osteopathic manipulation, then why apply to DO schools. If that's the case, this type of person should only apply to MD schools and leave the spaces open to students who truly want to become osteopathic students.

    Just my two cents.

    Arnold
    Western U/COMP Class of 2004
     
  4. RollTide

    RollTide Senior Member

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    I agree with you 100%..good post!
     
  5. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member

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    aecuenca:

    Thanks for that thorough response. It was very helpful.

    My problem is that ever since I started college I had wanted to attend medical school but really only knew about the MD schools. At the time, I did not even know about osteophathic medicine. And to tell you the truth, my undergraduate college professors did not even mention the possibity. I guess I should have done my own research. But the point now is that because I discovered osteopathic medicine later on in my academic career, I have not made much effort to do things like shadowing a DO or volunteering to find out more about it. I am preparing for the April 2000 MCAT in hopes of gaining acceptance to the entering 2001 class. I've done scientific research with professors and physicians, volunteered in the ER and worked on numerous health related projects. Since graduating from college I've also earned my MPH in Community Health Education.

    Is it too late to form a foundation in osteopathic medicine in order to show admissions committees that I do have a genuine interest in the field?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Yer
     
  6. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member

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    Hmm...I see where you're at...

    But, I have some bit of experience you may find comforting. At the end of my senior year in college, I just found out about osteopathic medicine. All throughout college I had never heard of it, and no one ever talked about it. I was not able to pursue any research on it because I was going through a lot of family matters. So, in December of that year I decided to seek out a DO and lucky for me I found the Osteopathic Center for Children, which is headed by Dr. Viola Frymann, a legend in the osteopathic field. I did my research on it, shadowed (am actually shadowing a DO right now still, and am the volunteer coordinator now), attended an osteopathic awareness conference and visited a med school, and by April knew in my heart that osteopathic medicine was what I wanted to do. I sent my application in june, secondaries in august, accepted in mid september and am happy.

    So...you know what? Looks like you are in the same exact position that I was in last December (except I had taken the MCAT already). You have A LOT of time to do the research on osteopathic medicine and shadow a DO and find out if it's for you.

    As far as all of your experience, hey, everyone including myself has all of that. What will really make you stand out when applying to osteopathic medical schools is your GENUINE INTEREST in it. Honestly, osteopathic schools would rather take the student with genuine interest than the "super-student" who has little/no interest at all.

    It isn't too late in the least. Do the research and find out if this is what you truly are interested in pursuing. If not, then be sure to apply to MD schools. Either way, I am sure you will do just fine.

    Arnold
    Western U/COMP Class of 2004
     
  7. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member

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    aecuenca:

    You've given some great advice. THANK YOU!
    I'll do my best, amidst trying to do well
    on the MCAT in April!

    Yer
     

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