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Question about DOs

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Luca45, May 10, 2002.

  1. Luca45

    Luca45 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 25, 2001
    The Bronx, NY
    I am very excited to be starting DO school this summer and my dad who is a MD (family doc) has been extremely supportive. The other day, we were talking and he asked if I would ever want to transfer to a MD school. I was kind of surprised because all along he has been saying how great it is that I am going DO. But he explained that if I want a high profile specialty, its not that I can't get it as a DO, but he feels that people will not want to go to DOs for superspecialized surgery etc (especially on Long Island where I am going to live). I was kind of annoyed, but it got me wondering. Could this be true? Anyone have any experience? I don't think I would want to switch, and I also don't think I want to specialize in neurosurgery etc. Any imput would be appreciated.
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  3. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    Someone else will likely chime in with a lengthy response...but all I can say is that much of public opinions about DO's are truly regional. And likely it is hard to say what will change in 10 years (crystal ball ain't working). A more fitting response to your father would be "would YOU refer to a DO" considering he himself is FP and a referral source.
    Another response (and one your dad would agree)is that the residency is more important in DEVELOPING the physician than the medical school is. And if he is worried about residency training for a DO, Osteopathic Physicians can do allopathic residencies if they wish (like I am).

    It really is a complicated question...and one that only you can answer.
  4. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire 10+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2000
    I agree with the above advice. Also, I'd be interested to know how your dad would respond to the question about whether or not he would refer to a DO specialist. I suspect it would depend upon how well he knew the specialist and/or where the person had gone for residency (one reason I chose an allopathic neuro residiency). One thing I can tell you is that every DO specialist I know is SWAMPED with patients and just as busy as the MDs. I can only speak about the midwest, but maybe others will post with info about other regions of the country. BTW, congrats on your acceptance! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
  5. Starboard

    Starboard Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2001

    2 things to keep in mind (in addition to the comments above)

    1) At the level of specialties such as surgeons, anesthesiologists and what not, very few patients pay attention to the initials behind a doc's name. What they want most is the name - that yes there is a specialist nearby who can treat you.

    2) While I too wonder whether your Dad would refer to a DO the fact of the matter is by the time you come out of school it will be insurance companies that dictate referals. If you are a provider for a particular insurance company then other doctors in the program will wind up referring to you whether you're an MD or DO.

    3) Lastly, if your heart is really into being a DO, screw public oppinion and follow your heart. If you want it that much you'll find a way to be successful even in areas where people don't know about DO's.
  6. DrMom

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

    Around here there are a number of *superspecialized* DOs. Obviously, a significant proportion of DOs go into primary care, but you're certainly not limited in specialties by the degree. Also, I agree with a previous post that patients don't care what the letters are, just that you are on their insurance (and hopefully they are concerned whether you are competent).

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