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Should I go to Osteopathic school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Wolfvgang, Apr 27, 2000.

  1. Wolfvgang

    Wolfvgang Junior Member

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    Ok, so this is another "here's my personal situation that I find perplexing" post. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology, but because of almost flunking out of college my freshman year, I was only able to bring my cumulative GPA up to a 2.9. However, I did make gradual improvement as an undergraduate. After graduating, I worked for a mental health clinic as a counselor and worked closely with some psychiatrists and GPs full time for a year. There I caught the "gotta be a doctor bug." Now I am back in college picking up all the pre-requisite science courses, and have a GPA of 3.76 in these courses. I Know I will ace the MCAT (I've always done very well on standardized tests). So, with that background in mind, here's my questions: 1. Should I pursue a Master degree or just another bachelors in science, 2. What do you think my chances are if I score at least a 32 on the MCAT?, and 3.) Would I have a better chance getting into an osteopathic school instead of an allopathic school? Thanks in advance for any comments or advice! :0)
     
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  3. RollTide

    RollTide Senior Member
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    What are your motivations for applying to osteopathic medical colleges? From your post it seemed you had none, that you were just looking for someone to take you. You should do a little research before making your own decision about which type of school is for you. And I would not be so confident about the MCAT, afterall you can not really compare it to the GRE or SAT. Take a few practice tests and see if you still think you can easily score a 32. Just a couple of things to think about.
     
  4. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust
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    Wolfvgang,

    Schools are different in deciding your capacity to study medicine, but nontraditional applicants (i.e. out of school for a time + health related work experience)can sometimes make good prospecive physicians; you only have to prove to the committee that you can handle a heavy academic load. Having said the preceding, this is what I think:

    First, look up some postbac or masters programs that may help you redeem your academic mistakes (bio, biochem, etc).

    Second, your attitude toward the MCAT (i.e. overconfidence: "I can get a 32") is rather cavalier and can spell disaster on test day.

    Take some TIME to REALLY understand basic science + do diagnostic exams (Kaplan gives you the brainy basics, Hyperlearning is boot camp --choose wisely). It's very easy to get 6V, 8B, 8P.... Remember, in general, the MCAT is the great equalizer, and if your err in your MCAT score, you will probably have a more difficult time getting in.

    My summary: you should be a competitive DO applicant with a 3.0+ and a 28+ MCAT. Remember that average is 8 8 8 and std dev is 2. Fall within SD above the avg and you are ok, but more than SD above avg and youre a cut above. Get a 32 and you are golden! Best wishes...
     
  5. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    I just wanted to add to the MCAT confidence warnings...

    I always did really well on standardized tests (1480 PSAT, 1440 SAT). I studied one HECK of a lot more for the MCAT (3 months, intensive, in the summer) than I did for the SAT. I got a 30. (11-8(PS)-11-O...plus I did have a migraine during the test but...). I had pretty much aced all my prereqs. So dont be too cocky, ok? [​IMG]

    Good luck!
    Star
     
  6. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust
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    That's the general concensus among MCAT takers: this is one hard @$$ test!

    It's different because it's passage based and requires analytical thinking more than memorization... for about six hours.
     
  7. Wolfvgang

    Wolfvgang Junior Member

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    I'm sorry if I appeared to cavalier about the MCAT, I know it will be very hard, but I shall be prepared as suggested above, and if I score sub 30 on it, I will re-take the test until I get into med school. Also, I really do like DO philosophy, however, I feel equally drawn to the MD philosophy. Each side, I understand, has it's pluses and minuses. The main issue I was concerned about was, since I like both MD and DO, is which type of school would be more suited to my GPA and expected MCAT. Just trying to make plans, this stuff is nerve-racking! :0)
     
  8. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust
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    W-G,

    Honestly, I think D.O. is easier to get into across the board, not just because of YOUR numbers. I happen to favor osteopathic medicine because of the philosophy and because the D.O.s I've had contact with seem emphatic people, not snobby medical jocks (not to say that there arent any snobby DO's).

    I also understand it's more of a challenge to practice as a DO because of the prejudices against you, but with time it will fade. Prejudice, WG, is based on ignorance and fear and it puzzles me what exactly the old-school medical establishment has to fear from the DO's?!!...

    No matter where you go WG, remember that medicine is about people (read John Pekannen's book "M.D." to see what some doctors get away with -- and how some doctors shine above the rest). Good luck.

    [This message has been edited by adismo (edited 05-01-2000).]
     
  9. jlep2003

    jlep2003 Member
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    Why not apply to both MD and DO? Every school is looking for something different with respect to applicants.
     
  10. Wolfvgang

    Wolfvgang Junior Member

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    Thanks, Everybody!
     
  11. TAB

    TAB New Member

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    As a 4th year medical student, here are some pearls of wisdom:
    1. to be competitive, score 11's on the MCATs.
    2. To go to Boston University you better have some research or don't waist the $95.00 on the secondary application fee (same rule applies to all research based facilities)
    3. Apply to programs in Washington, DC. The tuition and cost of living is so high, they typically have a large waitlist they pluck from.
    4. Apply to Osteopathy if you are interested in Osteopathy (like me), don't BS the Osteopathic community w/ "I like the Osteopathic Philosophy" and then take the USMLE and apply for an allopathic residency because deep down you really want to be an MD.
    5. If you "tell grandma how to cook" during the interview, you can forget getting in. Be Humble, honest, and smile.
    6. KAPLAN and The Betz Guide to the MCAT, by Dr. Flowers are the best MCAT preps.
    7. If you just like acing exams and gunning knowledge, you will have difficult clinical years. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Everyone loves a hard worker, team player, with a good sense of humor and pleasant smile.
    8. Do something besides just studying. Many medical student get so caught up in study they forget to take time out and have fun. I bought a season ski pass for 2 years.
    9. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.
    10. A good recommendation makes a world of difference.
    11. Early applications are always better.
    12. Take Biochem, Histology, pharmacology, nutrition. Even though you may not need them for the MCAT, Its nice when you can be exempt from these courses in med school!
    13. Although gross anatomy and neuroanatomy are considered the big gun courses in med school, acing pharm, path, and physiology make you look stellar on rotations

     
  12. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member
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    That's great advice, although I think 11's on the MCAT to be competitive is a bit exaggerated. If you score a 33 on the MCAT, you are well above the average for any medical school (MD or DO) that I know of. If I was still a pre-med and someone told me I had to score a 33 to be competitive, they might have scared me right into grad school instead [​IMG]
     
  13. Wolfvgang

    Wolfvgang Junior Member

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    Great advice...thanks all!
     
  14. ana

    ana

    The last two posts in this thread (other than yours) have been great advice. You are absolutely competitive for both MD/DO programs. Your old GPA is worrisome, but you have been able to put distance between it and your present situation with your work experience and current excellent academic work, and I think this upward trend will earn you a lot of forgiveness. You will probably not get into a top 10 school, but that leaves about 50 other schools you would be in the running for depending on your other qualifications.

    Actually, the better your MCATS, the better your chances because it provides corroborating evidence of your academic trend. Try to shoot for at least a 30 (double digits in all, but you will be forgive a 9 in verbal since the distribution curve for that section is so flat). The best way to gauge your performance is to take as many practice tests as possible. On the whole, the commercial prep tests are a little easier than the real thing. I consistently scored 12-13 on each section in Kaplan/Princeton tests, my actuall score was a point or two lower.

    Definitely go for it!

    And if you end up DO instead of MD that is just fine. They make great docs, make just as much money, have thriving practices... they just have to do a little more educating of the public regarding their profession (but most patients dont even ask).
     

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