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Dec 10, 2013
Medical Student
Begin rant:

So ever since joining SDN years ago I've seen bazillions of threads comparing DO and MD. Generally the consensus is MD>DO for solid reasons. I have been pressured by family, friends, peers, teachers etc. to only apply to MD schools and to do so broadly.

However I wanted to post for future pre-meds why, for me, DO>MD.

I have decent stats as far as gpa and mcat go and I have tons of ECs. I feel if I applied to 25+ private MD schools I could land an acceptance or at least an interview or two. However, I decided to just apply to DO schools and my state MD school for a few reasons.

1. DO schools are in much better locations for my family and I than the majority of private MD schools (I would prefer to stay in the west; CA, NV, AZ, UT, CO, NM).

2. I'm interested in Family Med, Emergency Med, and Gen Surgery. I see no reason why I would not be able to land a residency spot in any of those specialities because I went to an osteopathic school.

3. I want to work, live, and raise my family in a rural location. DO school's mission statements frequently align with that desire. I also believe a DO medical education provides numerous benefits to rural physicians.

4. The family docs/surgeons in my area are 75% DO physicians and have spoken highly of their experiences and education. They are professional, personable, and intelligent.

5. By applying to <10 DO schools I will save thousands of dollars.

6. I can take USMLE and compare myself to MD students on at least that metric. I would be able to apply to all the same residencies as my MD counterparts.

7. I think OMM offers beneficial knowledge and would be fun to learn. I also hear from current students that it is easy to pass and not shoved down your throat.

8. DO schools, generally speaking, are more open and welcoming to non-trad students, like myself, who have reinvented themselves.

With all that said, I understand MD schools generally offer some significant advantages over DO schools i.e. Better connections for the clinical years, a big advantage when selecting competitive residencies, more research opportunities as a med student, etc. For many this should mean MD>DO for them. However, for me personally, I don't see how an MD program would make much of a difference with my career goals.

There are many osteopathic schools that will allow me to accomplish my career goals and give me advantages over MD schools via location, finances, OMM, and rural training. I am not "settling" for DO schools (I hate that sentiment). I am CHOOSING them for the reasons mentioned above.

Only God can judge me.

I'm not trying to start another futile debate, I just wanted to share my thoughts with others who may feel pressure to go MD when they feel a stronger pull towards DO.

A gentle reminder from Lee:

* As a physician you and your colleagues will be too busy to care about where you went to medical school.
* Most physicians judge each-other by the quality of their work and physician and patient feedback.
* Most patients come to you based on patient recommendations and physician referrals.
* Your residency and fellowship training are more important than where you went to medical school.
* If you're smart and work hard, you will be a good physician. If you're lazy and don't make an effort, you'll be doing a disservice to your patients. I've seen plenty of MDs and DOs that are excellent docs and plenty who are downright scary.

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