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Should DO admissions committees review MD/DO applicants?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by aecuenca, Feb 23, 2000.

  1. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    Hi everone!

    When applying to osteopathic schools, applicants applying to MD/DO schools always have to be prepared to be asked "Why did you apply to both programs?" or "if you were accepted to both, which would you choose?". In addition, a lot of schools look favorably on the applicant who chooses
    to apply solely to osteopathic schools.

    There is the issue of the "DO identity crisis". Are DO's truly different from MD's? Is the education that osteopathic students receiving from MD's geared in a different philosophy towards medicine? If that is the case, then why do osteopathic schools review applicants to apply to both MD and DO programs?

    These are just questions I'm throwing out to see what all of you think. With all of the complaints of the MD-wanna be's "stealing" spots from those truly dedicated to osteopathic medicine, you've got
    to wonder why osteopathic schools would want to review these applicants.

    Now, this is not to say that every MD/DO applicant is like that. There are those that truly want to become a physician first, but I'm willing to bet that most (not all) of those applicants that apply to both
    are using the DO application as a backup in case MD doesn't work out.

    You hear a lot of students on this forum giving advice about not applying to DO schools if you don't believe in the philosophy, the efficacy of OMM, etc. because the admissions committees can see through you. Really, is that true? I know a lot of B.S.'ers out there who can fool anyone.

    The reason I bring this topic up was because an old roommate of mine gives me a call and is
    stressing about the MCAT. He's your 30 y/o non-trad student and ever since I can remember had a low opinion of DO schools. Now, he calls me for advice and then realizes that his extracurricular box is pretty much empty and his chances to get into MD school isn't that great, and says he's considering applying to DO schools as well. Do you know how upsetting that is to hear that?

    So what do all of you think?

    Arnold
    WESTERN U/COMP CLASS OF 2004
     
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  3. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member
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    Here's the way I see it:

    Advantages:
    If you want to go into primary care, being a DO is fine and maybe even more conducive toward that end than being an MD. If you want to specialize, at least you'll have good primary care emphasis so you don't become too esoteric in what you do.

    You get to be different (e.g. like not driving the same cookie cutter make/model car).

    You might find OMT handy (maybe not in private practice due to low/no reimbursements for it but at least on friends and family!).

    If you can't get into MD school, you can still be a doctor, and the patient in front of you that's crying for help could care less.

    DOs are uniquely poised to completely meld with conventional medicine or bridge a gap between conventional and alternative medicines. Time will tell.

    Disadv:
    Self conscious image people are out of luck w/osteopathy -- no one has any clue what it is.

    DO is harder than MD to get into a good surgical (or other competative) ACGME training program by a significant factor.


    So that's what I've come up with after working with DOs, speaking with DOs, MDs and directors of ACGME residencies, and reading about osteopathy. Short and sweet. Sorry if it's a little blunt.

    DO Boy
     
  4. GariCGDo2003

    GariCGDo2003 New Member

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    Who cares? MD/DO is same thing! If he wants to be a physician let him! Doesn't matter what letters are after his name or what school he goes. It is all the same in the end!

    Western U/COMP 2003
     
  5. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    I would have to disagree.

    MD and DO are not the same thing, at least not entirely. Yes, they may have the same practice rights and priveleges, but it's the philosophy and the upbringing that is different, as well as the teaching of osteopathic maniplative medicine. As a Western U student, you should know that better than anyone else!

    Who cares? I would say dedicated osteopaths would. Those that truly are dedicated to the osteopathic field and intend to incorporate OMT partially or fully into their practice of medicine. It's the attitude of pre-meds that use DO schools as "backups" to their MD applications that makes osteopathic medicine appear to pre-med students sub-par to allopathic medicine.

    I went to UCSD as an undergrad and formed an osteopathic medical organization on campus this year. There is SO MUCH anti-DO sentiment on campus among pre-meds that you can cut it with a knife. Everytime I debate with pre-meds about their anti-DO attitude, they can give me answers that only demonstrate their ignorance. And to those pre-meds that intend to apply to both MD and DO schools, I give them the tough questions as to their motivations behind it. Simply stating that I WANT TO BE A PHYSICAN FIRST just doesn't cut it for me. From experience, I would have to say that 99% of these types of pre-meds are using DO schools as backups. I simply say research the osteopathic field more and then decide on one. Why waste your time and money applying to DO schools if you don't believe in the philosophy of osteopathic medicine and the efficacy of OMT? I am sure you have med students among your class that went to Western U because they couldn't get into MD schools. And from what i understand after talking with several med students from COMP that these "DO wannabe's" don't give a damn about OMT. That's just too bad!

    Should he be a physician? Well, I'm not one to say. He's very intelligent, and has pretty good social skills, and I think he'd make a fine SPECIALTY physician based on how he interacts with people. But would he make a good or even great OSTEOPATHIC physician. DEFINITELY NOT.

    Arnold
    WESTERN U/COMP CLASS OF 2004
     
  6. Duo Degree

    Duo Degree Member
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    is it getting a little hot in here? Everyone needs to relax a little. I don't believe anyone has to justify themselves to me for decisions about medical school. Keep in mind that most of us are not physicians yet and therefore cannot "speak" for the DOs or MDs. The isolationist attitude expressed by the previous poster is merely counter-productive to the efforts to improve healthcare. I think everyone needs to stop being so defensive and more open minded.
     
  7. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    If it appears that i am a bit defensive, it is because I am always constantly defending the osteopathic field to pre-med students.

    I think you have it wrong Duo. It isn't me that isn't open minded. I once only knew of allopathic medicine throughout my years as an undergrad. But I opened my mind to osteopathic medicine and discovered that yes, it is the same as allopathic medicine, but more. The ones who are not being open minded are those that simply dismiss osteopathic physicians as "glorified chiropractors" and osteopathic schools as "MD backups".

    About justifying the decision to attend medical school. The question that you always are asked is "Why do you want to become a physician? Is it for the money? Is it for the title and prestige? Is it because you truly want to help people?"

    Is there anything wrong with asking those questions to a potential physician? Of course not. So what's wrong with asking the motivations for becoming an osteopathic physician? Honestly, if the motivation to become an osteopathic physician is simply because they can't get into allopathic schools, that is simply ridiculous.

    I posted this question in the beginning because almost everyone here has given the advice "If you don't like the philosophy, if you don't believe in the manipulation, then don't apply". Why do they say that? Because it is these students that apply as "MD wanna-bes" that are counter-productive to the practice of osteopathic medicine.

    I am not saying that exclusively reviewing "DO only" applicants is the answer. It is merely a thought to entertain and discuss/debate about.

    I look forward to hearing more thoughts on this subject, and thank you for submitting them.

    Arnold
    WESTERN U/COMP CLASS OF 2004
     
  8. Future DOc

    Future DOc Senior Member
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    Hey Arnold,

    You have to realize that there are really three different medical worlds: pre-med, medical students, & physicians. Although, they are all united with each other as successive steps, each are VERY different.

    The pre-med world is still filled with a lot ignorance & immaturity...which explains your experience with the anti-DO at your undergrad. Its common, but still ashame! You as well as other up-coming medical students (ie DO boy, etc..) are transitioning in the medical student world soon. You are going to have to scrap the premed mentality altogether. We have all experienced the same views you have expressed in one life time, but its not worth firing a few neurons over anylonger. Note that current medical students on these boards (except a few) don't normally vent out "why this or why that". WHY? B/c its really not worth losing sleep over!! When you are actually beginning your life as a medical student, just leave your premed thoughts behind & don't look back!!

    Sorry for babbling, but my real point is that yes it is a darn shame that there may be lot of people who attend DO programs are really just MD-wannabes, but like the previous posts mentioned, "Who cares!". It is still ashame, nonetheless, but you can't lose sweat to what others do or think & start concentrating on what you will do for yourself. By attending a DO program, you are being trained with ALL the basic steps& tools you need to becoming a physician like your fellow MD collegues. However, you are also given something more as well with OMT. You can choose to be a die-hard OMM specialist, just lose it altogether, or like me incorporate some of the techniques here & there when applicable (ie rib-raising for COPD pts). This will make you stand out! This will make you better!!

    Again, don't worry too much about what others think & concentrate on what you are going to do...which is becoming a medical student. Lose the premed mentality & leave those who still think that way in their own world. You are now going to be a medical student & you have to start with a clean slate. Think like a medical student now!!!

    Rob
    WesternU/COMP MS II

    [This message has been edited by Future DOc (edited 03-06-2000).]
     
  9. Smile

    Smile Senior Member
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    A thought about the so-called "MD wannabes"... true, I think there are students in DO schools who truly wished they were in MD school, but... if they were truly MD wannabes, why would they then "lower their standards" by going to a DO school? Doesn't that contradictory? Why would students be sitting in DO schools if they didn't like osteopathic medicine and would rather be MD's?
     
  10. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    Hey Rob,

    Thanks for replying. Well, I don't lose sleep over the whole anit-DO sentiment among UCSD Pre-meds..as a matter of fact, I always look forward to debating them. But, I really can't leave it behind, at least for now, since I am heavily involved in promoting osteopathic medicine at UCSD.

    As far as my choice in pursuing osteopathic medicine? I truly don't care if anti-DO pre-meds or others think I'm "settling". But, I make sure to explain what it is to clear up any misconceptions they may have, and it's up to them to take it or leave it.

    Smile, I think that there is a mixed variety of students, MD-wannabe's, MD-wannabe's that converted to DO while in osteopathic schools, and the truly dedicated osteopathic students. But nonetheless, there are those who go to DO schools because they care about being a physician rather than an osteopath and "settle" when they don't get into allopathic schools.

    Arnold
    WESTERN U/COMP CLASS OF 2004

     
  11. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Because they only view the DO degree as a means to an end, namely an unrestricted license to practice medicine. The sad thing is that most MD-wannabe's don't realize how miserable they're going to be going into the deal. There is nothing worse than waking up every single day and hating where you are, hating studying OMM, and always feeling "second best." I don't know the best way to counsel premeds about the hazards of going DO when one really wants to be an MD, but I think that the hazards are real and under-appreciated.
     
  12. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    That is exactly my point drusso!

    What/where do you do counseling for?
     
  13. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member
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    Very well said Future DOc!!

    How many students prior to entering a DO school truly have the opportunity to learn enough about osteopathic medicine that they can intelligently embrace it without any doubts? Not many I would guess. Many choose DO for the same reasons, i.e "I just like the philosophy more."

    I think the vast majority of DO students do enter medical school with the desire to be a physician first and foremost, and even out of those who use DO school as a back-up most (in my experience) eventually come to embrace much of what osteopathic medicine is all about. Those who don't are very easy to spot..and they are the miserable minority.

    Give people a break! It takes medical students at least two years of OPP classes to really gain a decent understanding of what osteopathic medicine is about, so don't burn people just because they may not be totally committed to it in the beginning. Give them the benefit of the doubt..they may actually turn from "MD Wannabes" into "DO Wannabes". Just my opinion.

    BTW...People are FAR to quick to throw the whole "MD Wannabe" thing around at DO schools. Let's give that cliche a rest...please??

    [This message has been edited by UHS03 (edited 03-06-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by UHS03 (edited 03-06-2000).]
     
  14. Duo Degree

    Duo Degree Member
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    I agree entirely with the last post. I admit that I applied to MD schools, but does not mean Im a "MD wannabe?" WHat exactly qualifies as a "MD wannabe?" I may have wanted to become an MD, butnow i'm very happy and excited about going to DO school. I know alot about the philosophy, but probably not as much as I will know at the end of 4 years. is it possible to be a "Doc-wannabe" or even a "physician-wannabe"? i honestly will not concern myself with pre-med students or others looking at the letters that follow my name. Im just hoping to do well in med school first and then show my patients and the community of physicians how much i can contribute as a "physician-wannabe."
     
  15. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    Everyone has made very valid points here.

    IMO, an "MD-wannabe" is the pre-med that applies with the sole intent of using DO schools as "backups" in case they don't get into MD schools. Again, as I've said before, there are those students who go to DO schools because they didn't get into MD schools and have found to love osteopathy.

    I have to partially agree with the previous posts that some pre-meds won't know if they can truly commit to osteopathic medicine until maybe 2 years after being in medical school. But I think that is unfortunate. If that is true, then there are most likely many more of the same type of students that are miserable waking up every day going to OMT class and explaining what the kind of medical school they attend. My point is that when you go to medical school, it is a 4 year commitment, like a marriage, and pre-meds should do everything they can to research the osteopathic field to be absolutely sure that this is the type of medicine they want to learn. Shadowing a D.O. is great, but shadowing a D.O. who incorporates manipulation is even better. Taking an anatomy class and interacting with a D.O. who uses manipulation on their patients is even more helpful to gain better insight on what they are doing. Visiting osteopathic schools and talking with their med students. Of course, the same student has to do the same with the allopathic field. By doing so, this pre-med can make a commitment to apply to one or the other. Sounds like a lot of work, but if I'm going to commit 4 years of my life enduring medical school, I'd better be sure I know what I'm getting into and be happy with my choice. No regrets. Actually, it's not even really a 4 year commitment, it's a lifetime commitment.

    Of course, all pre-meds are "physician-wannabe's". That is, until we pass all of our board exams. [​IMG]

    Arnold
    WESTERN U/COMP CLASS OF 2004
     
  16. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    I agree with your post, Arnold, but maybe if the AOA carried out a more visible campaign, premeds wouldn't have to search high and low for books on osteopathic medicine.

    I was lucky enough to have found a whole shelf of books on osteopathic medicine in my library, and so I learned a bunch of stuff about osteopathic medicine then. Some premeds may not have that kind of resource, so what are they to do? Shadow a DO and study Organic Chemistry/Physics at the same time, all the while committing time into a field that may turn out to be totally wrong for them? Talk to DO students who reside at one of NINETEEN DO schools, all pretty much in the Midwest?

    It's not easy for a premed to do all these things. For me it was easy enough, and so I did and I learned all about it. But if the AOA were to actively market the osteopathic profession to the general public (I thought that's what the Unity Campaign was for -- did they lose steam or money?), it may move your cause forward, namely keeping the applicant pool to DO schools "pure."


    Tim of New York City.
     
  17. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member
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    I agree turtle.

    The AOA needs to step up their campaign. I honestly don't think that it is the general public that has a low opinion (in general) of the D.O. field. Most people (who are not pre-meds) that I've talked to about osteopathic medicine find it very interesting and some have embraced it. But, a lot of the negativity is among pre-meds, especially out here in the West, at least according to some of the COMP students that I've had the opportunity to chat with.

    SOMA I understand is mostly an organiation of med students, and I think has started to think about targeting the pre-med population. That's why I've started to do that already, and hopefully when SOMA is ready, we can affiliate our organizations with them.

    If all of you are interested, please visit our website at:
    http://members.xoom.com/omasucsd/OMASpage1.htm

    I'll hopefully be changing the domain name to something shorter in the next day or two. I understand how hard it is for pre-meds to even find a D.O. to shadow with, or even find information at school (especially with an allopathic med school right across the street!). I was there. That's why I've been trying to change that. Well, myself and the officers of both the UCSD and SDSU chapters.

    thank you all for the input. It has been most interesting.

    Arnold
    WESTERN U/COMP CLASS OF 2004
     
  18. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Nice job, Arnold. I graduated from UC Berkeley and can attest that osteopathic medicine is not well known among premeds out west. After all, CA is the state that turned DO's into MD's in an overnight vote! Even at Berkeley, where one would think that things considered "different" or "cutting edge" would be heartily embraced, premed advisors didn't know much about DO schools.

    I think that the visibility of the profession is improving though. Over the last 3 years the number of osteopathic sites and resources on the Internet have increased substantially.


    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited 03-07-2000).]
     
  19. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust
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    Oh excuse me,

    I thought this was a medical student forum, but forgive me for the intrusion...

    The DO degree implies that the beholder is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, having a fair knowledge about the theory and practice of medicine, including OMM.

    You know this really IS pathetic. It's not all that difficult to realize what the probem is: Sheep mentality.

    DO schools are not back up schools. They are however underappreciated and unrecognized largely as a result of the current establishment. You get federal government funding for an osteopathic medical school and just watch the distinction disappear.

    You want to succeed in life? STOP WHINING! Stop wishing other people would appreciate you more, make a reputation for yourself such that they will have no choice but to respect you as a medical professional. The circumstances are what they are, but I have a dim view of people who wish they were part of the big, sophisticated MD crowd. That is sheep mentality.

    Also, where are we in DO history? Just at the beginning. YOU are making history people, and my bet is twenty years from now the MD/DO distinction will have vanished.

    Do not conform to the rules "prestige etiquette" making excuses for the fact that you are not MD, but change the rules: get out there, get competitive, and get results people.

    future COMPian, adismo
     
  20. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust
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    For best results of previous posting, start playing Eye of the Tiger (Rocky theme) beginning at about the second paragraph.
     
  21. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    The only medical school that I know of that is federally funded is the armed services' medical school. There are several DO schools that are state-sponsored public institutions including, Michigan State, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia, and probably one or two others that I'm missing. Maybe you could clarify what you're talking about.
     
  22. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust
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    My bad. Not federal funding, but state-sponsored (i.e. public) schools.

    Costs a lot of money to build lecture halls, hospitals, etc. Also, public schools are cheaper; more attractive to potential DO applicants that would otherwise go to a public MD school.

    Thanks for the clarification.
     

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