Apr 19, 2009
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So I think this has been discussed a little already....but I thought I'd ask,

I've been pre-med for a while, and in my senior year I got interested in research. I started to wonder if I wanted to peruse a research career instead. So I graduated in May, and just started a research assistant job. I have a delayed acceptance for the fall of 2010 at an osteopathic school, and I am not sure if I should try to reapply to MD schools while I am working. I am not sure because it seems like researching as a MD is more possible than as a DO...I was just wondering if anyone knew about this...

They also offer a DO/PhD program, but I didn't know how common this degree was either.

Thanks for the info :D
 

nobleheart

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Apr 11, 2006
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I am a dual degree student at Oklahoma State: DO/MS in Biomedical Science. Most Osteopathic medical schools are involved in research in one way or another. You should search for a school that is conducting research that interests you, then contact the particular individual of interest and discuss your concerns/goals with them. The DO/PhD might be less common than the MD/PhD, but it is by no means a lesser degree.
 

Tuckermans

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Nov 17, 2008
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So I think this has been discussed a little already....but I thought I'd ask,

I've been pre-med for a while, and in my senior year I got interested in research. I started to wonder if I wanted to peruse a research career instead. So I graduated in May, and just started a research assistant job. I have a delayed acceptance for the fall of 2010 at an osteopathic school, and I am not sure if I should try to reapply to MD schools while I am working. I am not sure because it seems like researching as a MD is more possible than as a DO...I was just wondering if anyone knew about this...

They also offer a DO/PhD program, but I didn't know how common this degree was either.

Thanks for the info :D
If you are interested in doing research, I would be less worried about the MD/DO part and more focused on the PhD part. Look into different schools research focus; find a professor who you would be interested in working with an go with that. Research as a clinician tends to have a different focus then a bench scientist, so if you want to do bench work I would think you would be fine with either DO or MD. Just my two cents...
 

rddoms

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I did a MS in biomedical sciences before starting the DO program. DO/MD doesn't really matter as far as research is concerned. There are probably more opportunities to do research at a big state MD school, but you can make it happen either way. I had a great experience with my program, and it is a school in a very small town. You will be fine either way.

http://www.atsu.edu/kcom/programs/biomedical_sciences/index.htm
 

JaggerPlate

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May 28, 2007
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Care to elaborate?
Personal opinion. I went to undergrad at arguably the biggest research university in the US, researched (clinical) with an MD/PhD and a straight up PhD ... both conducted medical based research, big well funded labs, etc. I just personally didn't notice the difference between the two, especially because the MD/PhD did not have any sort of practice anymore. The thing is that for MD/PhD, you're looking at a whole different applicant pool, 8ish years of med school, and then residency after all to probably end up strictly in research (I say this because I hear a lot of pre-meds say 'I want to do research and have a practice,' but from what I've seen, all the docs end up in research), and for DO/PhD, I'm fairly sure you have to pay for both degrees (a lot of MD schools have NIH funding and such and essentially pay for the PhD + stipends, etc) and you're still looking at 8 years plus residency. A PhD is like 4 and you're good. This is all just my personal opinion, anyone/everyone feel free to correct my facts/add your own view. Hope it helped.
 

Katatonic

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Thanks JaggerPlate, I just like getting people's opinion on the combined vs. straight PhD. One thing you mentioned at the end though is slightly off, biomedical PhD's have inched up towards an average of taking 5 to 6 years to complete (depending on many things like your PI, your project, school, program, etc.). One thing you need to consider OP is that DO/PhD and MD/PhD have a much stronger job security than straight PhDs. I'm still on the fence regarding the two paths (leaning towards just PhD), but my best advice is to just talk to as many people as you can who have experience one or the other.
 

donkeykong1

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Jun 1, 2009
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sorry in advance if this sounds stupid, but are there actually DO/PHD programs out there?
 

Katatonic

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sorry in advance if this sounds stupid, but are there actually DO/PHD programs out there?
Yes, there are about 5 I believe. However, for some of them keep in mind that you have to take both the MCAT & the GRE to be admitted to both the medical school and the graduate school. Also, some ONLY pay for the PhD years and still stick you with the medical school year costs.
 

schrizto

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Is it difficult to do research as just a DO?
I think you could do research with a DO, just like how some researchers have an MD and do research. A DO should be fine, but there doesn't look like there are many of them. It's probably because DO schools are not as focused on research as MD schools.
 

Chocolate Bear

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Ouch, sounds like financially bad idea. Researchers don't make a lot of cash.

Is it difficult to do research as just a DO?
I think you could do research with a DO, just like how some researchers have an MD and do research. A DO should be fine, but there doesn't look like there are many of them. It's probably because DO schools are not as focused on research as MD schools.
The DO degree will not limit you in your ability to practice research, either during med school or during your attending career.

HOWEVER, your experience and knowledge and environment might limit your research opportunities, at least to the passive student/doctor.

DO schools are usually not the main med school with a surrounding med center, NIH grants, and extravagant research facilities. Period. Thus, when you go to a DO school, you're usually not as bombarded with research opportunities that you would be at a big research institution. But smaller, non research MD schools have this same issue.

But most DO schools do some sort of research in house and/or collaborate with other local schools/hospitals to do research. Thus, it may not get forced down your throat, but you can often find the opportunities to assist if you want to. Networking and finding opportunities are valuable skills and will help you achieve this goal.

Now, just follow the path towards your career. A DO student at a DO school doesn't get force fed research and doesn't find his own way into a lab/project because he just didn't really feel like it. That's fine--his prerogative. However, now he's less likely to get a residency spot at the program that's heavy on research because he lacks the foundation necessary to be helpful to the program. Again, that's fine. So he does a non research residency at a non-academic hospital. He's certainly not in any position to go head up a research lab somewhere at this point. Sure, he could join a group and make contributions to some research, but his training and apparent interests really haven't led him down a research path.

Point being that you create your path. Your degree doesn't.
 

Chocolate Bear

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