PCOM (great DO school) vs. TCMC (mediocre MD school) - NEED HELP!!

TCMC (lower reputed allopathic) or PCOM (highly reputed osteopathic) for competitive residencies

  • PCOM

    Votes: 20 29.4%
  • TCMC

    Votes: 48 70.6%

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    68
Dec 7, 2013
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So I have recently been accepted to both PCOM and TCMC which are both at/around the top of my list. Now I have to decide which school I want to attend. Both are great schools, but obviously PCOM is osteopathic and TCMC is allopathic.

PCOM is one of the most reputable osteopathic schools and TCMC is...well...it certainly is not a BAD school by any means, but it is fairly new and still working on getting its name out there. I want to go to the school that is going to leave me with the MOST residency options. I have no idea what I want to do as of now, but I'm interested in general surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, etc. So pretty much I definitely wanna specialize in SOMETHING, just not totally sure what. But for all I know, I may end up loving primary care. It's too early to tell...which is why I want to attend the school which will leave me the most options.

I know people used to always look down on TCMC due to their accreditation issues, but from what I understand those have been resolved and TCMC students seem to do fairly well in the match. Both schools have very impressive match lists and both schools are very close to home. I need help making a decision! What do you guys think? Is it always better to go with MD over DO in terms of competitive residencies, or is it better to go to a very reputable DO over a not-so reputable MD?
 

cliquesh

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Tcmc

Your life will be easier being an MD.

The goals you mentioned (gen surgery, orthopedics, and cardiology) are reasonable coming from pcom. You will, however, be regulated to aoa orthopedics and, possiblely, aoa general surgery.

Both aoa and Acgme cardiology are possible coming from pcom.
 
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Bacchus

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PCOM alum and have to agree, your life would be most likely easier trying to match from TCMC vs. PCOM. As cliquesh said, as a DO its 99.99% likely you'd have to match a DO ortho program. General surgery is possible in the ACGME match. Cards is possible from both. The only possible limiting factor I see in making a choice would be cost and location. Scranton =/= Philadelphia, but I like Scranton more.
 

SpartanWolverine

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This thread is interesting to me, as I may end up having a similar choice to make (and am also undecided as far as specialty)... MSU-COM or Albany. It seems like there's a strong MD bias in most responses because of your undecided status. If I were you, I would probably choose TCMC because it would leave more doors open for exploration.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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So I have recently been accepted to both PCOM and TCMC which are both at/around the top of my list. Now I have to decide which school I want to attend. Both are great schools, but obviously PCOM is osteopathic and TCMC is allopathic.

PCOM is one of the most reputable osteopathic schools and TCMC is...well...it certainly is not a BAD school by any means, but it is fairly new and still working on getting its name out there. I want to go to the school that is going to leave me with the MOST residency options. I have no idea what I want to do as of now, but I'm interested in general surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, etc. So pretty much I definitely wanna specialize in SOMETHING, just not totally sure what. But for all I know, I may end up loving primary care. It's too early to tell...which is why I want to attend the school which will leave me the most options.

I know people used to always look down on TCMC due to their accreditation issues, but from what I understand those have been resolved and TCMC students seem to do fairly well in the match. Both schools have very impressive match lists and both schools are very close to home. I need help making a decision! What do you guys think? Is it always better to go with MD over DO in terms of competitive residencies, or is it better to go to a very reputable DO over a not-so reputable MD?
Go to the MD school, you will have more opportunities as an MD. Also the curriculum at DO schools include OMM.
 
Aug 29, 2013
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Just wanted to let you know that I'm in a similar boat. I was positive that I would matriculate at DMU. :lovey: However, that changed when I was accepted at TCMC in mid-October! :nod: My head is telling me to go with TCMC, but my heart is telling me to go with DMU. :shrug: Aside from the whole DO vs. MD issue, due to its geographical location, attending TCMC would be a whole lot easier for me (and my family!).
 
OP
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Just wanted to let you know that I'm in a similar boat. I was positive that I would matriculate at DMU. :lovey: However, that changed when I was accepted at TCMC in mid-October! :nod: My head is telling me to go with TCMC, but my heart is telling me to go with DMU. :shrug: Aside from the whole DO vs. MD issue, due to its geographical location, attending TCMC would be a whole lot easier for me (and my family!).
hahaha im glad im not the only one stuck in this situation! For me, I definitely loved PCOM, but when I went to the TCMC interview I was pleasantly surprised with everything they had to offer. TCMC's match list was pretty impressive for such a new school; additionally, the facilities were amazing and the students genuinely seemed very happy. Also, their Step1 scores were well above the national average. As much as I love Philly and PCOM, I can already tell I'm MOST likely gonna end up at TCMC
 

swinsh01

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I know 2 people who did the masters program TCMC and went elsewhere for medical school (one to PCOM) if that says anything
 
Aug 29, 2013
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hahaha im glad im not the only one stuck in this situation! For me, I definitely loved PCOM, but when I went to the TCMC interview I was pleasantly surprised with everything they had to offer. TCMC's match list was pretty impressive for such a new school; additionally, the facilities were amazing and the students genuinely seemed very happy. Also, their Step1 scores were well above the national average. As much as I love Philly and PCOM, I can already tell I'm MOST likely gonna end up at TCMC
Yep, same here...I'm 99% sure I'll end up at TCMC. :thumbup:
 
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I know 2 people who did the masters program TCMC and went elsewhere for medical school (one to PCOM) if that says anything
Dude, I honestly don't think that says anything at all. :p They might not have applied to TCMC, they might have applied to TCMC and been rejected, or they might have applied to TCMC and been accepted but opted for other medical schools...since we don't know which of these applies to their situations, this n = 2 study pretty much tells us absolutely nothing. ;)
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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I know 2 people who did the masters program TCMC and went elsewhere for medical school (one to PCOM) if that says anything
That literally would only mean something if the masters was a linkage or offered guaranteed interviews/ acceptances.
 

swinsh01

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Dude, I honestly don't think that says anything at all. :p They might not have applied to TCMC, they might have applied to TCMC and been rejected, or they might have applied to TCMC and been accepted but opted for other medical schools...since we don't know which of these applies to their situations, this n = 2 study pretty much tells us absolutely nothing. ;)
I know one was accepted, but went elsewhere, not sure about the other. Just trying to offer some examples that might show how a small number students there feel about the institution, not trying to publish a study haha.
 
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TCMC. All US MD schools > All US DO schools > All other professions > All Caribbean Med schools.

I'm a DO student, and please listen when I say this, you have an opportunity to not deal with: OMM lectures, OMM Labs, COMLEX, AOA rotations, AOA residencies, the AOA in general, the stigma of being inferior, and having to explain to everyone what "D.O." means. Take that opportunity. DO NOT put yourself through all the crap if you can avoid it.
 
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ToKingdomCome

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TCMC. All US MD schools > All US DO schools > All other professions > All Caribbean Med schools.

I'm a DO student, and please listen when I say this, you have an opportunity to not deal with: OMM lectures, OMM Labs, COMLEX, AOA rotations, AOA residencies, the AOA in general, the stigma of being inferior, and having to explain to everyone what "D.O." means. Take that opportunity. DO NOT put yourself through all the crap if you can avoid it.
This is good advice. I also agree with the pecking order
 

Temperature101

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TCMC. All US MD schools > All US DO schools > All other professions > All Caribbean Med schools.

I'm a DO student, and please listen when I say this, you have an opportunity to not deal with: OMM lectures, OMM Labs, COMLEX, AOA rotations, AOA residencies, the AOA in general, the stigma of being inferior, and having to explain to everyone what "D.O." means. Take that opportunity. DO NOT put yourself through all the crap if you can avoid it.
I would like to know what metrics you are using to compare MD/DO to other professions....
 
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moto_za

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TCMC. All US MD schools > All US DO schools > All other professions > All Caribbean Med schools.

I'm a DO student, and please listen when I say this, you have an opportunity to not deal with: OMM lectures, OMM Labs, COMLEX, AOA rotations, AOA residencies, the AOA in general, the stigma of being inferior, and having to explain to everyone what "D.O." means. Take that opportunity. DO NOT put yourself through all the crap if you can avoid it.
Ouch.
 

inmyslumber

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You know the answer to your query in your heart (and possibly in your brain).... MD school is the way to go.

I only am replying to this thread because I want you to avoid troubles ahead. To the OP, feel free to PM me. Don't make this decision lightly.
 

rkaz

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I'm also a DO student (MS4), and I agree - go to the MD school. I believe that DO s are fully the equivalents of MDs, but we have some unnecessary hurdles in our paths. PCOM is a wonderful school, but you will still have an easier time in the match as an MD.

The only time I'd recommend chosing DO over MD is if you are married with kids, and if going MD meant leaving your family. I read once on these forums of someone who was divorced and had to chose between far away MD program vs local DO program (near his kid) and he was actually still thinking of going MD! That was the saddest post I've ever read on this forum. MD is good, but never at the sacrifice of family (especially not kids).
 
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Instatewaiter

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I know 2 people who did the masters program TCMC and went elsewhere for medical school (one to PCOM) if that says anything
I know one was accepted, but went elsewhere, not sure about the other. Just trying to offer some examples that might show how a small number students there feel about the institution, not trying to publish a study haha.
So one got in and went elsewhere... could it be a better MD school?

And the other didn't get in a went to PCOM... These two anecdotes seem like a overwhelming endorsement to go to PCOM.
 
OP
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I wanna thank everyone for their input! As many of you probably expected, I have decided that I will MOST probably be attending TCMC over PCOM. I just talked to a couple students from my undergrad school that went to both schools, and even the students who went to PCOM said I would be better off at TCMC. There were even some PCOM students on this thread that said the same thing! PCOM is an awesome school, but I feel that it also may limit what I do in the future. I'm going to visit both schools one last time though just for reassurance that I'm making the right decision. But I'm already 98% sure I'll end up at TCMC...unless I get in last minute to one of my "reach" schools. But once again, THANKS EVERYONE!
 

Bacchus

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If it makes you feel even more confident, I actually like Scranton as a city. I've had a lot of fun times there and in nearby Wilkes-Barre.
 
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TCMC. All US MD schools > All US DO schools > All other professions > All Caribbean Med schools.

I'm a DO student, and please listen when I say this, you have an opportunity to not deal with: OMM lectures, OMM Labs, COMLEX, AOA rotations, AOA residencies, the AOA in general, the stigma of being inferior, and having to explain to everyone what "D.O." means. Take that opportunity. DO NOT put yourself through all the crap if you can avoid it.
The vast majority of us in DO schools do not want to deal with OMM, COMLEX, AOA residencies, the AOA, having to explain our education to the less enlightened. I find it rather funny when even some professors at DO schools refers to OMM as "alternative medicine", our professors try to convince us that its not.

Going to a DO school still beats going to a foreign country for medical school at least. I have heard of situations where someone chose a DO school over an MD school. I often found such choices to be unwise.
 

darklabel

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Seth Joo may be a bitter DO student, but not sure how he is being a troll with his post.
 
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I'm also a DO student (MS4), and I agree - go to the MD school. I believe that DO s are fully the equivalents of MDs, but we have some unnecessary hurdles in our paths. PCOM is a wonderful school, but you will still have an easier time in the match as an MD.

The only time I'd recommend chosing DO over MD is if you are married with kids, and if going MD meant leaving your family. I read once on these forums of someone who was divorced and had to chose between far away MD program vs local DO program (near his kid) and he was actually still thinking of going MD! That was the saddest post I've ever read on this forum. MD is good, but never at the sacrifice of family (especially not kids).
Why did you say that choosing MD meant leaving family? I am currently married with kids reapplying^^ just wanted to get a clearer idea why you would say that?
 

Elevencents

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Why did you say that choosing MD meant leaving family? I am currently married with kids reapplying^^ just wanted to get a clearer idea why you would say that?
He said that he would choose DO if going MD meant having to leave his kids.
 
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Why did you say that choosing MD meant leaving family? I am currently married with kids reapplying^^ just wanted to get a clearer idea why you would say that?
Usually family tends to be an obstacle in medical school. My wife left me when she found out I was applying to med school. Its a huge financial stress when one member of the family leaves the labor force and becomes a student.
 
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Moose A Moose

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Can someone please explain what is so bad about AOA residencies?
Issues with funding, location and lack of specialization (if that's what you're after). Plenty of them are legit and respectable, you just have to do your homework... Just another hurdle our allopathic brethren need not worry about.
 
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Usually family tends to be an obstacle in medical school. My wife left me when she found out I was applying to med school. Its a huge financial stress when one member of the family leaves the labor force and becomes a student.
Hm, thanks for sharing.
Actually that's one of my biggest concerns. She supports me fully now, but I know how she will hate me when I leave her all by herself with children.
Luckily finances aren't too much problem for us, but still I don't want to deny my duties as father. I should make some money while studying.
 
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Hm, thanks for sharing.
Actually that's one of my biggest concerns. She supports me fully now, but I know how she will hate me when I leave her all by herself with children.
Luckily finances aren't too much problem for us, but still I don't want to deny my duties as father. I should make some money while studying.
I am actually happy to be single again. But I have to say if you got family and children, medical school is going to be a lot more stressful. Some people think they need a spouse or girlfriend while in medical school. To me this is a source of unnecessary stress and pressure. If you are not earning a living and accumulating debt, its not a good situation.
 
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This is good advice. I also agree with the pecking order
There is no pecking order. Comparing the medical profession to other fields is like comparing apples to oranges. If you are talking about stability and job security, the medical field is better than other professions.

Sergei Brin was studying for a Phd at Stanford, look how he turned out.
 

user3

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I think the biggest disadvantage is seen with opportunities for students with lower board scores.

A DO student with a USMLE Step I score in the 210s (national average is 227), for example, will probably only be able to match (ACGME wise) FM, low tier IM, Peds, psychiatry, neurology, pathology, PM&R, or OB/GYN. anything else would be difficult to impossible.

An MD student scoring in the 210s would be fine for those, for mid tier IM, anesthesiology, radiology, and EM-- plus have a decent (55-60%+) chance for GS, rad onc, ENT, ortho, and even derm, while a DO would have no chance.

source: http://b83c73bcf0e7ca356c80-e8560f466940e4ec38ed51af32994bc6.r6.cf1.rackcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf
 
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I think the biggest disadvantage is seen with opportunities for students with lower board scores.

A DO student with a USMLE Step I score in the 210s (national average is 227), for example, will probably only be able to match (ACGME wise) FM, low tier IM, Peds, psychiatry, neurology, pathology, PM&R, or OB/GYN. anything else would be difficult to impossible.

An MD student scoring in the 210s would be fine for those, for mid tier IM, anesthesiology, radiology, and EM-- plus have a decent (55-60%+) chance for GS, rad onc, ENT, ortho, and even derm, while a DO would have no chance.

source: http://b83c73bcf0e7ca356c80-e8560f466940e4ec38ed51af32994bc6.r6.cf1.rackcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf

This is why I recommend going to a "mediocre" MD school over a very good DO school. In my book there is no such thing as a mediocre LCME MD school. The LCME has very high standards. There are plenty of mediocre DO schools. PCOM is a very good school, but you still wind up with a DO degree.
 

hallowmann

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Usually family tends to be an obstacle in medical school. My wife left me when she found out I was applying to med school. Its a huge financial stress when one member of the family leaves the labor force and becomes a student.
That's unfortunate. I guess all I can say is that I hope its for the best. At very least, if your spouse is unable to support you in following your dream/goal, then you are probably both better off.

Hm, thanks for sharing.
Actually that's one of my biggest concerns. She supports me fully now, but I know how she will hate me when I leave her all by herself with children.
Luckily finances aren't too much problem for us, but still I don't want to deny my duties as father. I should make some money while studying.
You don't need to "make money" during med school, if its not related to studying. That is your biggest and most costly priority. If you want to "make" money, do it in the way of spending as little loan money as possible and applying for as many scholarships as you can. They may not be for much, but $1000 here or there for writing an essay is $1000+interest less that you have to pay back in the future.
 
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