PT vs. DO

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Kevin3Ford, Oct 19, 1999.

  1. Kevin3Ford

    Kevin3Ford Junior Member

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    I am a student currently applying to physical therapy schools. I believe that treating the whole body as a unit is mainly why PT's see such great results and their profession has grown. Recently, I've been researching DO programs, because of the similarity in applying manual techniques. They seem as though they have similar evaluation techniques also. My point is this, the requirements are similar (except organic chemistry), the philosophy seems similar, so is PT something that would limit me more as far as income and practice? The main reason I don't want to become a MD is because I believe in using more manual therapy for certain illnesses than prescribing a ton of drugs for. So is DO a route I should strongly consider? Is this the general consensus for DO students? Any information you can provide might help my decision between these fields...Thanks in advance.

    Kevin
     
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  3. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member

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    DO's are Osteopathic Medical Doctors and Physical Therapists are not. That is the big difference. Therfore PT's are greatly limited in the approaches they can take in their practice. DO provide comprehensive healthcare. Salary potential is always relative and varies on the person, the number of hours, the area of practice, specialty, etc.. There are DO's out there that pull down 400,000 others make around 85,000. Same thing with PT (400,000 might be pushing it). You need to decide what you want to do with yourself.

    DocGibby
     
  4. Smile

    Smile Senior Member

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    kevin,

    i am a physical therapist applying to DO schools. it is true, there are many similarities in what PT's and DO's do as far as manual therapy is concerned. i was surprised that when i first researched about osteopathic medicine, i already knew (and used) many of the manual therapy techniques used by DO's. but it does come down to limitations in your practice. as PT's, in most states you have to rely on physician's for referrals. you generally have the freedom to treat your patients how you feel is best, but ultimately you are responsible to the referring physician. i agree w/ the previous reply, that salary is all relative. as a physician your salary is generally higher to start w/. but PT's also have the potential to make good money, especially if involved in home care or subacute centers, or ultimately having your own practice (which can actually be quite lucrative.) i have gained significant satisfaction as a physical therapist, but in my case i am just looking for more. i simply want to expand my horizons and the scope of the care i provide my patients. as a PT you are not a doctor and do not have the same access to different possibilities to treat your patients. if you have any more questions, i will give you my email address. good luck.
     
  5. miglo

    miglo Senior Member

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    Kevin: My X is a PT and she is evil therefore PTs are evil.

    My X is NOT a DO and she is evil therefore DOs are not evil.

    ------------------
    Ryan
    Western U/COMP Class of 2004
    thedigitaldoctor.com


     
  6. miglo

    miglo Senior Member

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    Kevin: My X is a PT and she is evil therefore PTs are evil.

    My X is NOT a DO and she is evil therefore DOs are NOT evil.

    Besides, we all know DOs rock the house here.

    Hope this helps!

    ------------------
    Ryan
    Western U/COMP Class of 2004
    thedigitaldoctor.com




    [This message has been edited by miglo (edited October 20, 1999).]
     
  7. Boomer

    Boomer Supreme Sooner Member

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    Hey mig,

    didn't you say that you majored in logic?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kevin3Ford

    Kevin3Ford Junior Member

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    Smile,

    Thanks for the reply, that helps. I'm going to begin shadowing this week in DO's offices so I'll find out more. I've put so much time and effort into PT research, I don't want the effort lost. Can I use any of this volunteer and work time for DO school applications?

     
  9. If you are considering going to a DO school, you must consider the costs. The mean salary among physicians in the US is around 140,000. The mean salary among family practitioners (the bulk of DO physicians) is around 100,000. Student loans are only deferrable for a period of time. If you attend a DO school a significant portion of your salary in the future will go to paying off these enormous and probably unwarranted debts.

    When interviewing find out where most of the operating budget of each school comes from. If it is tuition, chances are your tuition will go up each year and you will be paying some of the highest tuition rates among med schools in the US.


    The US News and World reports that students attending DO schools have some of the highest indebtedness rates of all medical schools combined, including allopathic schools. You must consider this in your decision making when choosing a school and a career. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/beyond/gradrank/med/gbexpens.htm
    Schools with highest debt:

    1. COMP
    2. Boston University
    3. Kirksville COM
    4. Nova Southeastern COM
    5. Philadelphia College of osteopathic med
    6. Finch University
    7. UHS-COM (Iowa)
    8. New York Medical school
    9. New England COM
    10. New york College of osteopathic med


    8 of the top 14 most indebtedness to students at graduation are osteopathic institutions. This can only suggest that these schools are not securing funding for education from other places.

     
  10. Smile

    Smile Senior Member

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    kevin,

    don't give up on PT just yet. it could be the right thing for you. but it is wise to check out osteopathic medicine. it all depends on how much you want to do, how much you want to be challenged, and how much responsibility you want to carry in your career. i know athletic trainers who have gone on to become PA's instead of full-fledged doctors simply because they didn't want the full responsibility. so volunteer/observe/shadow in both areas and decide what's best for you. and yes, you can use your PT volunteer experiences in DO applications. any little bit helps.
     
  11. dlbruch

    dlbruch Senior Member

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    Dr. Lynch- Why the preoccupation with osteopathic medical school costs? Of course educational cost is one factor that one must consider when choosing a career or a specific program, but there are many other important factors, as well. Why not avail us of some of your knowledge and experience in other areas? As a practicing (my assumption) physician you must have a wealth of insight.

    ------------------
    Dan
    Western U./COMP class of 2004
     
  12. Lee

    Lee Sleestack
    Staff Member Administrator

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    The US News website gives you numbers, not the reasons behind them.

    COMP is the number one school on the list because it is very expensive to live in Southern California. Additionally, many of its students are older and supporting families -- so they require more student aid.

    I didn't have a family to support, so my debt was average compared to other students attending private medical schools.

    Another important issue when looking at indebtedness is loan default rates. Even though COMP has the highest loan burdens, it also has one of the lowest loan default rates in the nation.
     
  13. Doctor TRuth

    Doctor TRuth Senior Member

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    dlburch, I think its important to realize how much of a debt you will have after graduating? Infact, I know we all have goals of getting in medical school, but we should also understand what happens when we are in and graduate from medical school. Therefore if one can minimize the loans by choosing a school with a lower tuition or living expenses, then one should.
     
  14. Paul's Boutique

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    More expensive to live in So. Cal? Sure, why not!

    I'm going to spend (as are all of you) 4-7 years (or more!) getting my DO degree (or your MD/etc...) I'm moving from the northeast to So. Cal., and I can't wait. Why? Because I -don't- want to spend my 4-7+ years in cold, crappy cloudy weather!

    Never forget that life is passing you by during all those years! Don't become so myopic that you neglect your own needs as a human being (and especially the needs of your spouse and family, if you have them). Yes, med school is important, and you should study hard and do as well as you possibly can. BUT there is MUCH more to life than just your schooling!

    Why choose a school based on cost??? Everyone is going to go into debt; why not enjoy it while you can?? (Do you think Payne Stewart (famous golfer who just took a header in his Lear jet in South Dakota) is enjoying all his thousands/millions right now? I think not. Don't miss life in your quest to become a physician...) (And PLEASE don't worry about the money!!! Are any of you honestly going to go thru 7+ grueling years of studying/slaving away, and at the end say "WHOO HOO! I just saved $100,000!!" So what???)

    ------------------
    -PB (Western Univ./COMP '04)

    "Never give in, never give in,
    never, never, never, never..."

    -Sir Winston Churchill, 1944

    [This message has been edited by Paul's Boutique (edited 10-26-1999).]
     
  15. Doctor TRuth

    Doctor TRuth Senior Member

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    PB has also brought an interesting point. I believe the key thing is balance, if you have a choice between schools than you can ceratinly select the points of your interest.
    Quality of education, environment and cost are the three important factor in my opinion.

    Again, you do have time after graduating from medical school to enjoy life. Its not necessary that you will get the residency in the same area as you attended school.
     
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  17. In making a decision about your education, you would be foolish not to consider cost.

    Osteopathic institutions that do not have a medical school hospital, research grants and or faculty practice plans, must derive most of their income from other sources, specifically tuition and fees. This is why tuition is so high at these institutions.

    The distribution of sources of revenue for medical schools nationwide includes: State and local government (1-16%), Tuition and fees (3-5%), Endowment (1-3%), Gifts (2-3%), Parent university (1%), Medical school hospitals (14-16%), Grants and contracts (26-30%), and practice plans (33-35%).

    JAMA. 1999;282:847-854

    Once you complete your residency or fellowship you will have only so many choices:
    1. private group practice (solo practice is almost non-existent),
    2. Managed care organization (HMO)
    3. government (VA system, militiary, department of HHS, etc.),
    4. academic (university or university-affiliate faculty practice)
    5. industry (difficult positions to get unless you have strong research background)
    6. non-traditional position.

    Academic positions do not pay well. Assistant professors can start out at 45 -60K at allopathic institutions, although this varies depending on the institution.

    The FDA postions for a medical reviewer begin at around 75-80K.

    Managed care organizations hire predominantly primary care physicians with a target number of around 130-150 physicians per 100,000 people. Some states have over 200 physicians per 100,000 people. The salaries vary but one of my colleagues in Chicago started out at 80K as an internist.

    Important points to remember:

    ? Financial planners suggest that your first year salary should be greater than your total tuition debt.

    ? Several organizations have forecasted a physician surplus in the future, despite this several new Osteopathic schools have opened.

    ? A physician surplus will make higher paying practice opportunities more competitive.

    ? Medical school debt is one of the primary reasons physicians do not go into research. (Institute of Medicine)

    ? Choose a medical school that is right for you, but also consider cost.
     

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