Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

MD vs. DO interview question?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by banana5, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. banana5

    banana5 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a senior in college and attended a premed orientation a few weeks ago that was offered by my school's pre-medical advising office. There were a few speakers at the meeting, one of whom got up and asked the room how many students planned to apply to an allopathic medical school the next year. Most people didn't know what allopathic was, but I'd say 99% of the hands went up. He then asked who could explain the difference between allopathic and osteopathic and why they weren't considering the latter. Nobody raised a hand.

    I've spent some time reading up on the differences and I'm frankly embarrassed that I still couldn't answer the speaker's question. The real answer why I'm applying to allopathic schools - I think it's most peoples' answer - is that that's just what people generally do. Going with the flow, so to speak.

    Quantitatively, there seems to be a difference between GPAs and MCATs of those who matriculate to osteopathic and allopathic schools. I've also read the threads about the possibility of more tests later on, a handful of states with weird licensing rules, possible bias against (though not limited to) DOs in certain residencies and fields, etc. None of these things, however, seems like a great reason to go DO vs. MD, or vice versa.

    Before reading the threads in this forum, had I had to answer the speaker at my meeting, I would have BSed something about different philosophies between MD and DO programs. I would have hoped that he wouldn't press the issue, because I can't really explain the difference between the philosophies. I thought that after reading up on it in this forum I would be able to, but I've come across more pre-DOs who say that the philosophy stuff is either archaic or BS than those who say they're applying because of that.

    I'm guessing that when you interview at a DO school, it's possible that the interviewer could ask why you're applying DO instead of MD. What do people say? Given how many DOs do allopathic residencies, it seems that it would be hard for any answer to really be that meaningful. Conversely, I can't think of how someone could honestly answer why they're applying MD instead of DO.
     
  2. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    There is your first mistake. You dont have to apply to DO instead of applying to MD. Many apply to both. Some apply only MD. Some apply only DO, and some apply to both. Its whatever you choose. You are right in that often times at a DO interview they will ask you "Why DO?" but you are incorrect in that it would be hard to come up with a meaningful answer. For most people (myself included), they will apply to schools that they feel they will be happiest at. A lot of things contribute to this, including tuition, location, curriculum, class size, 3rd and 4th year rotatoins, etc. For me there was no limitation based on degree. In other words, regardless of MD or DO, I applied to schools where I thought I would enjoy attending. Now that being said I was very interested in becoming an osteopathic physician. Not so much because of the "philosophy," but I was very interested in learning OMM, which you will find is really the only difference between MD and DO. I have always been fascianted with the musculoskeletal system, human movement, and things like that. OMM seemed perfect for someone like me, and it also seemed like it would be very applicable to fields I was interested in such as sports medicine. So, I was very excited about the opportunity to learn those techniques and that was a huge part as to why I was excited to go DO. I shadowed multiple DOs who used OMM regularly in their practice, I visted a local DO school and sat in on a OMM lecture, and every experience got me more interested in what they were learning. Any specific questions, feel free to PM me. Oh, and dont be surrpised if this thread gets UGLY and eventually is closed. People ask questions like this all the time, and they never end well, mostly b/c you get immature people posting their opinions on matters that weren't even brought up with the original post. If it gets to the point where it turns into a pointless debate (which it will), please PM me and I will be happy to have a civil conversation with you about the differences between MD and DO and any other questions you have. Good luck.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    8,187
    Likes Received:
    11
    My response was mostly to say that most people don't apply DO instead of MD. They often/generally apply to both. If you are applying only DO, then you have your own reasons and won't come here looking for reassurance. You are not one of those people, and neither was I. Read "The DOs: Osteopathic Medicine in America" by Norman Gevitz and shadow some DO's. Try to shadow one who is an OMT specialist, in addition to other specialties. You'll figure it out, and you'll crush the question, "Why are you applying to DO schools?" You'll be able to do so because you can speak intelligently about what the practice of a DO is like, since you will have experienced it.

    Thanks for saving me some time, RySerr! :D

    Best of luck.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    haha our opening sentences were basically identical and we bolded the same word.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. banana5

    banana5 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    That makes a lot more sense to me. It always sounded more reasonable that one would consider location, atmosphere, classes, cost, whatever else as the criteria for where one would ultimately want to attend medical school. I didn't mean to imply in the original post that people apply to DO or MD schools exclusively.

    In that sense, is the hypothetical interview question "Why are you applying to our school, a [insert DO or MD] school, and not a [insert MD or DO] school?" not really appropriate? Since most people would say that they're applying to the given school because of location, etc.?
     
  6. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]

    Ive never been asked "Why are you applying HERE, and not THERE?" However, at every singel interview I have been asked "Why School X?" The schools dont care about each other. You are at their school for a reason, and they want to know why. They dont really care why you aren't somewhere else, at least not in my experience.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. OP, at a few of my interviews I was asked variations of the DO vs. MD debate.

    Some of those variations include:

    - Did you apply to DO schools only or MD and DO? Why?
    - Why did you apply to MD schools? (asked at a DO school)
    - Would you come to school X (DO) over school Y (MD)?
    - List the schools you applied to.

    ...and, of course, the usual, what is the difference between a DO and an MD? (Which was asked by an MD interviewer at a DO school - weird to me)

    I didn't feel that any of the questions were inappropriate, personally, and I was prepared to answer them. Don't be surprised if you get similar questions at any interviews in your future.
     
  8. banana5

    banana5 Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't mean specific schools:

    but rather, "Why did you apply to NYU, an MD school, and not a DO school?"

    I'll check out the book that CB mentioned, thanks.
     
  9. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]

    No one will ask that. They dont know where you applied so they wont assume that you didnt. Uness you specifically say "I applied to NYU, but didnt want to apply to NYCOM" then an obvious follow up quesiton would be "Why not"
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    "The personal statement for AACOMAS was shorter than AMCAS."

    No, but seriously, I applied to only DO schools. I did so because unlike most other pre-meds in undergrad, I actually knew full well what DO meant and what it signified; my brother is a DO and I was introduced to the field by him. At first, I was of course skeptical. However, through research, plenty of shadowing, and SDN :)D), I realized that this was what I wanted to follow.

    I never had anything against MDs nor MD schools, but I chose to only apply to DO schools because I felt that they fit who I was as a person.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. gisel

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    there is very minimal difference between MD and DO, but DO have the education of an MD with a focus on disease prevention of the whole body not just a particular disease a pt may have, teaching, as well as trying to make the person feel better if living with a condition, such as acupunctures, etc. But is essentially the same.:luck:
     
  12. slim78

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    8
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student

    Ugh.:shifty:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    43,317
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    very true

    Both MD and DO schools teach about prevention. This is not a DO philosophy. A hundred years ago when Osteopathy was started by Dr Still this was a difference between allopathic and osteopathic medicine, but they merged on the prevention front many decades ago.

    I don't know where you're getting your information from, but you are far from accurate. DOs learn osteopathic manipulation, which very few of us use in practice. CAM, including accupuncture, is not part of Osteopathic medicine, although most med schools (MD and DO) have some lectures discussing CAM therapies.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    CAM week was the best! It was like a vacation; free massages, acupuncture... Excellent stuff. ;)
     
  15. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    43,317
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Ours included a lecture with some quack telling us about the "bad winds".
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. chewsnuffles

    chewsnuffles is a series of tubes
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    1
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Be careful when you talk about complimentary alternative medicine (CAM). It is not inherently bad, and some people have a knee-jerk reaction of condemnation, but over recent history many people feel as though it has done far more harm than good towards medicine as a whole. If I am correct, one of the defining characteristics of CAM is that it has not yet been scientifically proven to have a positive clinical effect in a published clinical study (hence the alternative title and adjuvent recommendation).

    There are a variety of reasons that a specific course of therapy may not be tested in a full clinical study, however, and not all of them mark the therapy as "snake oil". Certain novel therapies may actually be better than the standard of care, but either the cost of patient enrollment or the already proven effectiveness of the "gold standard" precludes recruitment of a statistically significant study population.

    The general consensus amongst the MDs and DOs who practice "evidence based medicine" (which is also sometimes used as a somewhat derogatory term by CAM proponents to suggest that there are essentially two schools of medicine, instead of simply proven vs. unproven courses of treatment) is that much of what falls under CAM is ineffective and sometimes even dangerous.
     
  17. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    43,317
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The problem isn't that gisel was mentioning CAM, it was that s/he thinks DOs are CAM rather than traditional medicine and that we are accupuncturists.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. rddoms

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I applied only to one medical school, which happened to be a DO school. I had many reasons for doing this, a few of which were really relevant.

    My answer to the "Why DO?" interview question dealt with my experiences with alumni of the school, as well as my experiences as a MS student at the school. My interviewers seemed refreshed to get an answer other than the routine "philosophy" answer, as I am currently a first year at the school.

    I find that reasons for applying DO, and thus answers to interview questions, vary greatly among my classmates. I can tell you that I love the school I attend, and wouldn't be as happy anywhere else (the main reason for my application).

    Also, what good is it posting inaccurate info regarding DO schools? It propagates the so-called "stigma", especially among pre-meds. Quite unfortunate, really! :(
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. chewsnuffles

    chewsnuffles is a series of tubes
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    1
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Yeah, and you are right, that is as significant a point as I can think of.

    I guess, if you haven't fully investigated the DO/MD difference as well as the DO/Chiro difference, it isn't unusual for people to have trouble drawing the line in the sand as to what DO's do and don't do.

    People think DOs shares many traits with Chiros (which they do). They then they start to link Chiros with all sorts of additional CAM techniques (which there can also be a link).

    But here's the problem: A -> B -> C

    So A - > B is True
    And B -> C is True
    So it is assumed A -> C is also true, yet that link does not exist.
     
  20. Orthodoc40

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I'm not sure why people feel like they need pre formed answers for possible interview questions like these. You have your reasons - so if they ask, you tell them. Unless of course, you're hiding something. ;)

    Anyway - Michigan State is one of the best examples of the lack of differences between these two educational paths. In year 1, students in both schools sit through the same lectures and take the same tests together. Go figure! (Except I think the DO students take anatomy in the summer but the MD's take it in the fall.)
     
  21. Sandlot13

    Sandlot13 ER = love
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Huh, thats kinda cool, I did not know that :)

    Ive had to explain it to my mom what a DO is like five or six times, but she finally has gotten it I think..... In the case of interviewing and my eventual chosen school, it was a simple answer of personality. The school fit me better than any other one, DO or MD.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page