Seeking Current DO student guidance, encouragment, and/or wisdom...

sicwitit4040

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i have been accepted to a DO program and am waiting to hear from MD programs. To me, DO school is a great opportunity and I would be (think I would be) perfectly content because I know I would be a physician in the end. HOWEVER, the stigma associated with DO is unnerving. I used to think that it wasnt bad, and not a big deal, but I was at a christmas party last weekend and had two separate conversations that showed me otherwise:

1st conversation:
I told a woman I got accepted to a DO school. She proceeded to tell me that she would never go to a DO "ever again" because her mom's doc was a DO and didnt do anything about some symptom that ended up leading to her death, etc. Beyond the true facts of the story (that is beside the point), its frustrating as hell having this conversation when i am considering entering DO school.

2nd conversation:
random person: So you got into a REAL medical school, right?

me: yea, i did. (its a DO school, and i didnt tell her this, thinking she would not care/know the difference)

random person: Oh, thats awesome, because i have a friend that got into this thing called "DO" and it sounds like such a sham! Its like totally not real med school and seems like a load of ****.

me: (smile, and look at my girlfriend and know that we are gonna laugh about this later)

I defended DO school to this person with calmness and patience, despite her ignorance, and she ended up admitting she did not understand what it was before.

My point is that it is hard to come to terms with having to justify my career regularly to those who don't understand it. Its very frustrating, especially having thought that the "stigma" was no big deal, until i dealt with it first hand and realize its real. I guess it’s hard to want a career that calls for regular justification of myself to appear valid. ??

Comments? Words of Wisdom? Questions?
 

pa2do

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I think that the first conversation really doesn't have anything to do with the physician being a DO. It can happen to anyone and to any type of doctor regardless of what school you go to. As far as the second conversation, I think you have to evaluate if you are willing to explain and educate people as to what a DO is. There are many ignorant people out there and many miseducated people. It is up to the people in this profession to take the time to educate the public about who we are. I hope this helps.
 

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Understand that as a DO, it's unlikely there will ever be a time in your career where you DON'T have to explain your degree.

No one will ask you as an MD what your degree means.
 
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There are 2 types of responses to this question.

1. For the ignorant person who really doesnt give a $hit: Just preface whatever you are going to tell them about Osteopathic Medicine w/ "Well before I explain the difference just know that we make the same amount of money, do all the same specialties and work side-by-side w/ each other in hospitals"

When most people here that you make the same amount of money that is usually all they really care about and you'll see the dis-interest in their face w/ whatever you say following the $$$.....ie they are satisfied.

2. For friends/family of yours that you actually care about and who are willing to take a few minutes to listen to you...explain to them really what a DO is all about and maybe give them some website links to further educate them. The links that are contained in the FAQ section of this site are pretty good.
 

matteaton81

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I live in a rural area and we have like three DOs...

Most people around here, they just think DO means "Doctor Of." LOL. In fact, they just say "doctor." Like, a gastroenterologist is a stomach doctor. The MD/DO thing really doesn't come up much.
 

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I can relate to the identity crisis. we'll call it that for now... I am a first year and around Halloween, I kept coming across this thought in my head, and it went something like: wow, i am in med school. it's not quite what i thought it was going to be (see: delusions of grandeur)... wow, i'm going to be a DO (see above). I continued with this thought for about a week. Some days I was overjoyed with the idea of becoming a DO, coming back from OMM and having first hand experiences with alleviating a classmates somatic disfunction. The next day came the feelings you're experiencing: dread and disarming fear of being singled out.
I couldn't wrap my head around it. A friend of mine and I spoke about it and he explained it to me this way: for the first time in my life, i am a minority. i will forever be judged, rightly or wrongly, by the title behind my name. strangers will treat me with scorn and ridicule out of ignorance. others will bestow unending kindness.
I had to come to grips with the fact that people in society will now pigeonhole me as a 'type'. I am not new to the idea, just new to the experience. It comes down to this: accept yourself for who you are. No one can take that away from you.
now, i am an osteopathic medical student, with all its glory and pitfalls. i identify with this point of view and i go on from there. if people look at me and frown, that is up to them. Just try not to carry other people's baggage for them. Just smile to yourself and understand that you know a little bit more about life than they do, be polite and tell them to have a nice day. Good luck with YOUR decision.
:mad: :horns:
 

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I posted this in another forum too, but I still believe it to be true aside from a very few situations the OP happened upon. I think that there is a much greater stigma associated with being/becoming a DO here on SDN than there is in the medical world.

How many physicians do you know that are out of work? Chances are...not a single one. In fact, there is going to be a significant family physician shortage by 2010 and since DO's are trained to be primarily primary care providers, anyone inclined should not be worried about finding a practice and plenty of patients.
 

sicwitit4040

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Thanks to everyone for replying...Although I feel that I should be able to come to terms/make a decision on my own, all the thoughts have really helped me see different sides of the story. :thumbup:
 

jawicobike

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Aside from all the regular things that go into making a decision concerning medical school (location, money, etc) when deciding between DO and MD you really need to get a preliminary knowledge of OMT. You will spend countless hours learing OMT at any DO school and if you hate it or think it is useless then you will be disgruntled that you went DO instead of MD.

There is a large number of osteopathic students that waste 4 hours a week for 2 years (and possibly a month of clinical rotations) learning and practicing OMT that they will never use.
 

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Patients don't care if you are a DO or an MD. especially if you are in an osteopathic hospital. i'm in my third year now and have had no discrimination whatsoever. If anything, when people find out i'm going to be a DO they tell me how much they love DOs. When people ask what a DO is, i explain and the conversation usually ends with that person telling me they intend to start seeing a DO. (The AOA should hire me as their mascot/spokesperson). So, Bottomline: There are isolated incidences of ignorance but people really like the ideas of the osteopathic philosophies,They just need to hear about them. Be proud of what you are and what you will be.
 

lama

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The way the AOA is ruling Osteopathy right now, I predict that all DO's will have their initials changed to MD in the next 15-20 years.
 
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lama said:
The way the AOA is ruling Osteopathy right now, I predict that all DO's will have their initials changed to MD in the next 15-20 years.

Uh unlikely. We can't even get a joint match.
 

jhug

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unfortunately, the biggest stigma regarding DO's comes from DO's...
Would I do it again if i had to...yes! school has been amazing and i've made a lot of great new friends...
Would i have done it had i known about the insecurities and inferiority complex of the AOA and die-hard DO's...i really don't know...It's tough for some to understand, but i didn't need a new religion before med school...i didn't need to join a group that i will blindly follow anywhere...i don't need to close my eyes to feel a mysterious pulsing that controls every aspect of our health...and of coarse when i say i don't feel it i'm told to "just believe"... like the "CSF Express" is going to come and take me to the North Pole and i can meet A.T. himself...

I guess the one solice i find is that the die-hards are the minority, and as the last poster said...the way the AOA is driving the profession into the ground, they probably won't be around too much longer
 

Sugar72

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jhug said:
unfortunately, the biggest stigma regarding DO's comes from DO's...
Would I do it again if i had to...yes! school has been amazing and i've made a lot of great new friends...
Would i have done it had i known about the insecurities and inferiority complex of the AOA and die-hard DO's...i really don't know...It's tough for some to understand, but i didn't need a new religion before med school...i didn't need to join a group that i will blindly follow anywhere...i don't need to close my eyes to feel a mysterious pulsing that controls every aspect of our health...and of coarse when i say i don't feel it i'm told to "just believe"... like the "CSF Express" is going to come and take me to the North Pole and i can meet A.T. himself...

I guess the one solice i find is that the die-hards are the minority, and as the last poster said...the way the AOA is driving the profession into the ground, they probably won't be around too much longer
on that note - i would like to randomly b#tch about the AOA. I am applying to anesthesiology programs this year and the U of MIchigan just went to a categorical program (an included clinical base year). MI is one of the 5 states where you have to do an AOA approved rotating internship. The program director at U of M called the AOA to see how to get the first year approved because he likes having DO's in his program. The AOA contact didn't take his call and never called him back. The PD called twice and the AOA totally blew him off. Thank you AOA for being such an advocate for your neophytes. My rant is done.....I totally concur with JHUG.
 

osli

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There are only two serious consideration, IMO, to the DO/MD decision.

One is money. I think all DO schools are fairly pricey. If you can get accepted to a reputable state school that has a significantly lower tuition, and finances matter to you, this is a big consideration. Of course private MD schools are expensive too, but it is something to be aware of.

The other is specialty. Depending on what specialty you have your heart set on, the DO/MD distinction might matter. For most of the competitive ones, you will be limited to AOA residency positions. This may or may not make it more difficult to enter that specialty, but it is something that you should investigate. Also, if you do have to remain within AOA positions, this limits location. Another consideration if it impacts and concerns you.

Aside from those, I can't see any real negatives to the DO route. As for "stigma" I know my background and capabilities, and wouldn't feel inferior to any MD from any school. If other people have a problem with DO's, it is with the organization, not with me.
 

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osli said:
There are only two serious consideration, IMO, to the DO/MD decision.

One is money. I think all DO schools are fairly pricey. If you can get accepted to a reputable state school that has a significantly lower tuition, and finances matter to you, this is a big consideration. Of course private MD schools are expensive too, but it is something to be aware of.

The other is specialty. Depending on what specialty you have your heart set on, the DO/MD distinction might matter. For most of the competitive ones, you will be limited to AOA residency positions. This may or may not make it more difficult to enter that specialty, but it is something that you should investigate. Also, if you do have to remain within AOA positions, this limits location. Another consideration if it impacts and concerns you.

Aside from those, I can't see any real negatives to the DO route. As for "stigma" I know my background and capabilities, and wouldn't feel inferior to any MD from any school. If other people have a problem with DO's, it is with the organization, not with me.
I second this. :thumbup:

For me, price is a huge thing after having attended six financial aid sessions. I have decided if my instate school takes me, I'll take it over CCOM simply because I'll be saving about $20k per year in tuition. Just something to remember: wherever you go, so goes your debt. :D
 

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I just wanted to say that once your in medical school you will realize what a lot of non-sense it is to think that you will be any less going through any program (may it be DO or MD).

What matters is how well you study, grasp concepts; and how well you do on your board exams.

Find a place where you will be happy! The climate, the faculty and students, what each school has to offer, how well they prepare you for your boards, etc.
 

SigPi

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NonTradMed said:
I second this. :thumbup:

For me, price is a huge thing.... I have decided if my instate school takes me, I'll take it over CCOM simply because I'll be saving about $20k per year in tuition.
damn right. DO schools are way to pricey IMHO. i will def opt for the in-state MD over DO and a large part of that reason is becasue SIU's entire budget is just slightly less than CCOM's tuition alone. :eek:
 

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SigPi said:
damn right. DO schools are way to pricey IMHO. i will def opt for the in-state MD over DO and a large part of that reason is becasue SIU's entire budget is just slightly less than CCOM's tuition alone. :eek:
Be careful about generalizing. There are several state DO schools.
 

osteo1

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dont go

You are lying and using the beautiful profession of osteopathic medicine

You want to be an allopath that it fine go be an MD

If you are not proud of having D O after your name you should not even bother

It is an honor and a privalige to be a D O and to use oteopathic manual medicne allong with Allopathic medicne in treatment and care

Dont lie dont use the proffession go become an MD there are 1000's who want your seat and want to be DO's , 1000's who do not even aply to become an MD 1000's who want only to be D O's who will be proud to be DO's and who will help people, the proffesion, and their communities.

(No refelxion on MD, MD / allopath is a beautiful path as well)



sicwitit4040 said:
i have been accepted to a DO program and am waiting to hear from MD programs. To me, DO school is a great opportunity and I would be (think I would be) perfectly content because I know I would be a physician in the end. HOWEVER, the stigma associated with DO is unnerving. I used to think that it wasnt bad, and not a big deal, but I was at a christmas party last weekend and had two separate conversations that showed me otherwise:

1st conversation:
I told a woman I got accepted to a DO school. She proceeded to tell me that she would never go to a DO "ever again" because her mom's doc was a DO and didnt do anything about some symptom that ended up leading to her death, etc. Beyond the true facts of the story (that is beside the point), its frustrating as hell having this conversation when i am considering entering DO school.

2nd conversation:
random person: So you got into a REAL medical school, right?

me: yea, i did. (its a DO school, and i didnt tell her this, thinking she would not care/know the difference)

random person: Oh, thats awesome, because i have a friend that got into this thing called "DO" and it sounds like such a sham! Its like totally not real med school and seems like a load of ****.

me: (smile, and look at my girlfriend and know that we are gonna laugh about this later)

I defended DO school to this person with calmness and patience, despite her ignorance, and she ended up admitting she did not understand what it was before.

My point is that it is hard to come to terms with having to justify my career regularly to those who don't understand it. Its very frustrating, especially having thought that the "stigma" was no big deal, until i dealt with it first hand and realize its real. I guess it’s hard to want a career that calls for regular justification of myself to appear valid. ??

Comments? Words of Wisdom? Questions?
 

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Mad Cow said:
I can relate to the identity crisis. we'll call it that for now... I am a first year and around Halloween, I kept coming across this thought in my head, and it went something like: wow, i am in med school. it's not quite what i thought it was going to be (see: delusions of grandeur)... wow, i'm going to be a DO (see above). I continued with this thought for about a week. Some days I was overjoyed with the idea of becoming a DO, coming back from OMM and having first hand experiences with alleviating a classmates somatic disfunction. The next day came the feelings you're experiencing: dread and disarming fear of being singled out.
I couldn't wrap my head around it. A friend of mine and I spoke about it and he explained it to me this way: for the first time in my life, i am a minority. i will forever be judged, rightly or wrongly, by the title behind my name. strangers will treat me with scorn and ridicule out of ignorance. others will bestow unending kindness.
I had to come to grips with the fact that people in society will now pigeonhole me as a 'type'. I am not new to the idea, just new to the experience. It comes down to this: accept yourself for who you are. No one can take that away from you.
now, i am an osteopathic medical student, with all its glory and pitfalls. i identify with this point of view and i go on from there. if people look at me and frown, that is up to them. Just try not to carry other people's baggage for them. Just smile to yourself and understand that you know a little bit more about life than they do, be polite and tell them to have a nice day. Good luck with YOUR decision.
:mad: :horns:
Well said!
 
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shminger

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osteo1 said:
:thumbdown:

dont go

You are lying and using the beautiful profession of osteopathic medicine

You want to be an allopath that it fine go be an MD

If you are not proud of having D O after your name you should not even bother

It is an honor and a privalige to be a D O and to use oteopathic manual medicne allong with Allopathic medicne in treatment and care

Dont lie dont use the proffession go become an MD there are 1000's who want your seat and want to be DO's , 1000's who do not even aply to become an MD 1000's who want only to be D O's who will be proud to be DO's and who will help people, the proffesion, and their communities.

(No refelxion on MD, MD / allopath is a beautiful path as well)
I would have to agree with this one.
 

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Well here is what I think, kids. Right off the bat, patients are stupid and scared. They don't know a hill of beans about medicine and when something goes wrong with their bodies, they get scared and mostly just want to know that the person running the show (you, doctor) knows what they are doing. I can't wait to get those letters after my name because I know I am going to be one kick @$$ doctor. I never worry what the public will think of my degree; they don't know jack! When your patients are sick, they just care that you are competent, which D.O./s are. I splain my degree by telling people that a D.O. is an M.D. who has recieved extra training in the human musculoskeletal system. I think most of the stigma you speak of stems from anal D.O. students themselves. I have worked alongside plastic surgeon M.D./s (some of the most ego driven docs in on the planet) thru UPIT, and they all are cool with me as an osteopathic student. I think there are things that D.O./s are trained to do better than anyone else - and aint no clueless layperson gonna tell me different.
 

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DrMaryC said:
Understand that as a DO, it's unlikely there will ever be a time in your career where you DON'T have to explain your degree.

No one will ask you as an MD what your degree means.

Not true at all...there are plenty of times when as a D.O you do not have to explain your degree. In fact some people are quite informed or have worked with a D.O. before and are aware that a D.O's are doctors too.
 

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sicwitit4040 said:
i have been accepted to a DO program and am waiting to hear from MD programs. To me, DO school is a great opportunity and I would be (think I would be) perfectly content because I know I would be a physician in the end. HOWEVER, the stigma associated with DO is unnerving. I used to think that it wasnt bad, and not a big deal, but I was at a christmas party last weekend and had two separate conversations that showed me otherwise:

1st conversation:
I told a woman I got accepted to a DO school. She proceeded to tell me that she would never go to a DO "ever again" because her mom's doc was a DO and didnt do anything about some symptom that ended up leading to her death, etc. Beyond the true facts of the story (that is beside the point), its frustrating as hell having this conversation when i am considering entering DO school.

2nd conversation:
random person: So you got into a REAL medical school, right?

me: yea, i did. (its a DO school, and i didnt tell her this, thinking she would not care/know the difference)

random person: Oh, thats awesome, because i have a friend that got into this thing called "DO" and it sounds like such a sham! Its like totally not real med school and seems like a load of ****.

me: (smile, and look at my girlfriend and know that we are gonna laugh about this later)

I defended DO school to this person with calmness and patience, despite her ignorance, and she ended up admitting she did not understand what it was before.

My point is that it is hard to come to terms with having to justify my career regularly to those who don't understand it. Its very frustrating, especially having thought that the "stigma" was no big deal, until i dealt with it first hand and realize its real. I guess it’s hard to want a career that calls for regular justification of myself to appear valid. ??

Comments? Words of Wisdom? Questions?


Conversation 1 and Conversation 2 are essentially the same conversation that is had over and over again in most area of medicines. Conversation 2 is had about any medical school...caribbean schools are shams...state schools are shams...schools in arkansas are shams...nurse practitioner's are not qualified...ect, ect. Everyone gets it and welcome to the club. Maybe if we as physicians set a better example with a little professional loyalty (i.e. If the specialties did not rip on the IM docs, if the IM docs did not rip on the ER docs, if we all did not rip on the FM docs) the general public would have more confidence in and respect for medicine too. These people are just repeating what they have heard without understanding it...and the point there is that they heard it somewhere first. A career in medicine is a career in justification, and as such don't think that M.D's have it easy too. No one is to blame other than ourselves too...
 

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Brett Hart said:
Not true at all...there are plenty of times when as a D.O you do not have to explain your degree. In fact some people are quite informed or have worked with a D.O. before and are aware that a D.O's are doctors too.
You're right. But what I was saying that at some point you WILL have to explain it. Maybe several times. Personal experience....it's annoying. You've got enough to deal with in med school and residency and practice.

FYI---on the interview trail the other day at an MD program, the PD told me point blank that "we were wrong about DO's" and they are very enthusiastic about DO's joining their team.

A DO school, will, indeed educate you. The playing ground is much more level after you graduate. It's all about getting the work done, and speaking from my current rotation, who the hell cares who's going to take care of these masses of people with CHF, DM, surgical abdomens, broken hips. We're on the turning point of medicine. They don't have insurance, we know how to fix it, and lawyers are lined up outside the door ready to make us prove ourselves.

The MD/DO debate lies within the insecurities of premeds who are indeed working very hard to make their dreams come true. Listen to the facts. Enjoy your life and career. :luck:
 

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We're on the turning point of medicine. They don't have insurance, we know how to fix it, and lawyers are lined up outside the door ready to make us prove ourselves.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

as for the explaining...that comes with being a minority in anything
i don't know if too many remember the last summer olympics when the (white) US 400 meter gold medalist had to explain why he is so fast!
DrMary is right, the biggest insecurities lie within premeds (and i would add the AOA and many of the old-school DO's...that, for whatever reason, still insist on saying "A.T. Still M.D., d.o.")
 

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If you go to the 3rd best medical school in your state, you would get why not first or second?

If you went PA instead of DO/MD you would get why don't you wan't to be a Doctor?

If you went to Podiatry school people would say "Wow you really want to look at feet for the rest of your life?"

If you wanted to be an accountant people would ask "aren't you bored crunching #'s all the time?"

You see this is the nature of the human being. They usually like to put people down to make themselves feel better for their insecurities. What did the person in conversation 1 and 2 do for a living? Are they saving people's lives?

When you are in the hospital, (most of us will be at one time or another even if you are FP or IM) the sick patient's won't give a damn what letters are on your white coat they just want help. If you can't get over your own insecurities you will certainly never be able to handle other people's.

BMW-




jhug said:
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

as for the explaining...that comes with being a minority in anything
i don't know if too many remember the last summer olympics when the (white) US 400 meter gold medalist had to explain why he is so fast!
DrMary is right, the biggest insecurities lie within premeds (and i would add the AOA and many of the old-school DO's...that, for whatever reason, still insist on saying "A.T. Still M.D., d.o.")
 

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As mentioned above: People like to put other people down. This is a fact of human civilization. If, as mentioned in the 1st post, the D.O. was an M.D. and he was of different ethnic origin, than the lady would've probably said: " I am never gonna go a '*ethinicty*' doc again!"

Being a minority myself and living in small town white america, I have had to explain myself so many times to people, that some times it is would be easier to avoid all 'unenlightened' people.
My response to the eternal question "What is a D.O.?" is: "We are just like M.D.'s but with an extra set of skills!" - which is the truth.
 
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