Realistic Differences in Programs

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I am starting at MSUCOM this summer, so I know this is jumping the gun a bit... I have shadowed and observed othro surgeries in the past and the practice really interests me. I have read a lot about differences in residency programs, and especially allopathic vs osteopathic residencies. To this point, I have gotten very little useful information. I already know that DO or MD it is extremely competitive. What I am really after is the realistic differences in residency programs (allo vs. osteo). I realize that there are those "untouchable" programs to everyone but the best of the best... Other than these programs, is there any real large differences between the majority of osteo and allo ortho programs? Things such as future fellowship and job opportunities, differences in future pay (not pay during the residency) and whatnot from one program to another? I generally am under the impression that (for the most part) You make your own way on skill, understanding and quality of yourself, not what program you attended. I'm looking for imput from people in the know. Thanks!


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I think you have the right idea about it. When all is said and done, whether you went to a DO or MD orthopaedic residency will not truly matter. It will not restrict you from future jobs (except high academic positions), drop your pay, or etc. The thing that will is how competent you are and how other physicians view you. So whatever program (DO or MD) that will train you to develop into the best orthopaedic surgeon that you can become will be the best for you.

With that said, there are some differences that I have seen. DO programs will train you well, you get a LOT of operative experience and you learn by doing. Mostly because DO programs are not a part of big academic institution with a bunch of residents and fellows, DO programs are mostly in community hospitals. Technically you will learn how to do everything in general ortho well. They do lack in research and academics/didactics. The opportunities exist if you look for it and are motivated, but most will not have the means for it.

MD programs are mostly at big academic institutions with research and some fellows. There are plenty of community programs as well, but even those have the more "university feel"...for the most part.

These have just been my experiences. I think you will be well trained at a DO program to handle general orthopaedics, and DO residents do go on to many good fellowships. Going to MSUCOM, they have tons of ortho residencies linked through their OPTI so you could be at an advantage (especially being up in MI where ortho programs are a dime a dozen for DOs).

I think it's great to plan ahead and make goals, but for now just do your best in classes and work hard, you can make the decision MD vs DO later on once your foundation in medical school is solid. Rest assured, that you will be trained well at either programs...the problem is finding a program that will help you excel.



Thank you very much for the information. It is great to get replies from people with real information and opinions based on experiences. One thing that drew me to MSUCOM was the large amount of affiliated residencies. It is a great set up they have. I was accepted to both MD and DO programs, and the thing that turned me off to many of the osteopathic schools was that they were mostly affiliated with smaller, rural hospitals. MSUCOM seems to have a good balance of larger, metropolitan hospitals and smaller ones as well. Once again, thank you for the reply.