Applying to DO because TRULY want to be a DO or because you want to be a doc?

  • I want to be a DO

    Votes: 30 18.3%
  • I want to be a physician (DO or MD)

    Votes: 134 81.7%

  • Total voters
    164

Polo423

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So just for my curiosity, I pose a poll to you all:

Who is applying to DO because they TRULY want to be a DO physician, and who is applying to DO because their goal is to become a physician (and the credential letters at the end of their name don't matter to them)?
 
Oct 17, 2010
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So just for my curiosity, I pose a poll to you all:

Who is applying to DO because they TRULY want to be a DO physician, and who is applying to DO because their goal is to become a physician (and the credential letters at the end of their name don't matter to them)?
Honestly, I just want to go the school that best fits me. Whether that is a DO or and MD school does not matter, its all about how I feel there.
 

wolverinepwns

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what you mean is who wants to stricly practice osteopathic manupilation, cuz OP as of right now you post makes no sense!
 

pianoman511

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Umm....No...I think the OP wants to know who is applying to osteopathic schools because they want to be a D.O. vs. they don't care if they are a MD vs DO (just are a physician). Osteopathic schools teach OMM in ADDITION to all the material that you learn in allopathic schools.
 

PunkmedGirl

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I want to be a doctor and I have a better shot at DO than I would at MD.
 

thepoopologist

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I applied because I wanted to be a physician. I am lucky that I found OMM interesting.

Some of my classmates do not like it or see it as a means to an end.
 

lacrosse87

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I'll be applying to both MD and DO schools next summer. The letters don't matter to me since I just want to be a physician. To be honest, I think OMM would be cool to learn. Any extra tools that will enable me to better treat patients sounds good to me. One question though, from what I've read it seems that allopathic and osteopathic have similar curriculum's except for OMM. Are osteopathic med students taking an entire extra course in addition to the allopathic course load? Since there are only so many hours in a day, I assume maybe there are electives in allopathic med schools and maybe OMM is just automatically the elective? Does this leave an opportunity to pursue other electives too?

I obviously haven't researched much into what the 1st and 2nd year med school curriculums exactly entail. Thanks in advance.
 
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For me, I wanted to become a physician no matter without caring about the letters after my name. But after I got my 28M in August, it was kinda late to apply to MD schools. And luckily I decided not to apply to any MD and apply to 13 DO schools. I even shadowed a DO after I decided to pursue the DO. Thats how I discovered OMT and I thought it was amazing and I also learned about the history of DOs. Right now I think DO is the shiznit and I would go DO even if I applied to an MD school.
 

Helen Wheels

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I originally applied only MD. It wasn't anything negative against DO - I want to pursue a career in academic medicine and thought an MD would be the best way. I couldn't get accepted MD, that's the truth. I was rejected by more MD programs than I care to mention. Being a physician is the most important thing to me so I am more than okay with DO. I have been accepted to DO school and I am kind of looking forward to the OMT stuff - except the shorts and sports bra in a room full of people part. :(
 

Rollo

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This is an interesting poll. It shows that most people don't think of OMM/DO philosophy as something unique and extravagant that truly sets it apart from MD schools so much that people actually want to pursue DO degree for the sole purpose of learning medicine in the context a DO philosophy.

In other words, according to the current poll results most people rather consider OMM as something extra that they will have to learn in order to get what they ultimately want: a medical degree.
 
OP
Polo423

Polo423

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Personally, I see OMM as an extra tool on the belt and something definitely unique to DO. MD schools are adding new classes in "alternative medicine," but I think its important to know that, despite having the same coursework as MDs, DOs are taught this information from a different perspective/philosophy. It's my connection and relation to the DO philosophy that makes a DO school a good fit for me (despite having applied to both).
 

Rollo

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Personally, I see OMM as an extra tool on the belt and something definitely unique to DO. MD schools are adding new classes in "alternative medicine," but I think its important to know that, despite having the same coursework as MDs, DOs are taught this information from a different perspective/philosophy. It's my connection and relation to the DO philosophy that makes a DO school a good fit for me (despite having applied to both).
Can you tell me exactly how the DO perspective/philosophy is different from MD philosophy?
 

desijigga

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Can you tell me exactly how the DO perspective/philosophy is different from MD philosophy?
We use witchcraft and wizardry, while the MDs use opiates and steriod injections.

I chose DO school because I never got off the wait-list at an MD school. OMM is just an extra thing we have to deal with, as a 3rd year I have used OMM on a patient a grand total of ONE time... MDs or DOs we all have ONE philosophy patient satisfaction, hospital satisfaction, self satisfaction...
 
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Polo423

Polo423

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Can you tell me exactly how the DO perspective/philosophy is different from MD philosophy?

Well I assumed the emphasis on relationship between structure and function as well as the clinical philosophy of examining a patient as a whole (health, socioeconomic standing, lifestyle, spirituality, etc.) was what separated DO philosophy and MD philosophy.

I believe its all in the Osteopathic Oath as well. I mean are you saying there are no differences in philosophy?
 

PunkmedGirl

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Well I assumed the emphasis on relationship between structure and function as well as the clinical philosophy of examining a patient as a whole (health, socioeconomic standing, lifestyle, spirituality, etc.) was what separated DO philosophy and MD philosophy.

I believe its all in the Osteopathic Oath as well. I mean are you saying there are no differences in philosophy?
Yes, there are no differences in philosophies, the DO philosophy is more like an ad slogan or catch phrase that reels you in and gets you all excited. Once you move past pre-medism you will see that there's no real difference in philosophies between the two degrees.
 

Rollo

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Well I assumed the emphasis on relationship between structure and function as well as the clinical philosophy of examining a patient as a whole (health, socioeconomic standing, lifestyle, spirituality, etc.) was what separated DO philosophy and MD philosophy.

I believe its all in the Osteopathic Oath as well. I mean are you saying there are no differences in philosophy?
What do you think is meant by "relationship between structure and function"? Feel free to give some examples. And make sure that these examples are something a DO student would learn or know while an MD student would have no clue about.

The second point about examining patient as a whole...let's say there is a patient with a chronic illness who is not very compliant to their medications because of psychological stress from them losing their job recently.

Do you think a DO would treat that patient any differently than an MD would assuming that both doctors were aware of the reason why the patient was non-compliant?

Let's actually step back a little and assume that the patient came in and was found to be non-compliant with their medications. Do you think a DO would approach the patient any differently than an MD would?

Please understand that I'm not trying to be an ass. I just want pre-meds to logically explore what the DO "philosophy" and the profession is all about. Don't just buy into what you read about "treating patient as a whole" and "body is a unit" tag lines. Question them!
 

TriagePreMed

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Ultimately, medicine must be driven by science and nothing more. While I do believe at face value it seems the D.O. philosophy is superior than that of M.D., I also know that a person's character drives much of the interactions they will have as a practitioner. OMM is nice, but with there being courses out there for M.D.'s having access too, it isn't a tool that I must miss out on by becoming an M.D. Ultimately, I'm driven much more by location choice (where I think I'll be happy as opposed to the name of a school).
 
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There are slight differences in training although it does vary quite a bit depending on the school. In general DO students get more Pt contact earlier. The OMM practice generally helps DO students become more comfortable touching patients, I've noticed DOs are generally more likely to palpate and do a more thorough physical. The whole person approach is taught by both and ignored equally.
 
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I scribe in an ED for about 10 doctors, half DOs. There is obviously a huge difference between the individual styles of each doctor, but no difference that I can see between how the DO vs MD docs treat the patients in the exam room or how much they bitch about them in the doc's office. The docs are all pretty cool about explaining what they're thinking and why the give different treatments, and after about 3,000 pt encounters I've never heard the DOs talk about OMM. I don't think all that "philosophy" difference matters for much more than premed marketing.

One of the DO docs under her scrubs top wears an "I Hate People" T-shirt that her husband got her after she bitched so much about patients to him. She's hilarious and most pts love her. In the end all the medicine is the same and it's just going to be about your personality.
 
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Polo423

Polo423

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What do you think is meant by "relationship between structure and function"? Feel free to give some examples. And make sure that these examples are something a DO student would learn or know while an MD student would have no clue about.

The second point about examining patient as a whole...let's say there is a patient with a chronic illness who is not very compliant to their medications because of psychological stress from them losing their job recently.

Do you think a DO would treat that patient any differently than an MD would assuming that both doctors were aware of the reason why the patient was non-compliant?

Let's actually step back a little and assume that the patient came in and was found to be non-compliant with their medications. Do you think a DO would approach the patient any differently than an MD would?

Please understand that I'm not trying to be an ass. I just want pre-meds to logically explore what the DO "philosophy" and the profession is all about. Don't just buy into what you read about "treating patient as a whole" and "body is a unit" tag lines. Question them!
Yeah I know you're not trying to be an ass. I really appreciate you helping me to really take a look and examine any possible differences. I suppose that I won't truly understand the differences until I enter medical school and observe for myself. So at this point I guess all I can say is that I praise DO for their emphasis on preventative medicine, and look forward to learning and exploring OMM as a way to increase my comfort in patient interaction.
 

lftbndlbrnchblk

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Yeah I know you're not trying to be an ass. I really appreciate you helping me to really take a look and examine any possible differences. I suppose that I won't truly understand the differences until I enter medical school and observe for myself. So at this point I guess all I can say is that I praise DO for their emphasis on preventative medicine, and look forward to learning and exploring OMM as a way to increase my comfort in patient interaction.
You might become aware of the differences when you go to medical school, depending on where you end up. But you'll become even more aware of how these two "philosophies" are not different at all in practice when you enter residency. Or perhaps you will learn them when observing how to manage patients as a 3rd or 4th year doing rotations. What you'll find is that there is such a thing as expectation of care, a medical and legal term, and this includes things that are to be done when presented with a sick person. If these things aren't done and the patient has a bad outcome - I don't care who you are, you are F'd. DOs and MDs belonging to a certain specialty learn the ins and outs of taking care of their patients according to how they are trained and it has nothing to do with the philosophy they learned in medical school. It's all about what is expected of them and whether or not they can deliver the way certain governing bodies in this country describe like the AMA or the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid or the WHO outside of this country. Whether they end up going home to relax with their families or preparing to testify in court depends on their ability to deliver as physicians. Being an MD or a DO in any situation will not help you in the real world if you can't provide for your patients.
 
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Regarding the "DO philosophy," let me ask a hypothetical question. If you stripped the "DO philosophy" of any identifying references to osteopathic medicine and then showed it to an MD, do you think he/she would say it's the philosophy of allopathic medicine?

I don't think the average MD thinks much differently about their patients than the average DO. The "DO philosophy" seems a lot like an ad campaign to me.

That said, I do admire the DO philosophy of treating patients as a whole, considering their social status, and all that!
 

Rollo

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Regarding the "DO philosophy," let me ask a hypothetical question. If you stripped the "DO philosophy" of any identifying references to osteopathic medicine and then showed it to an MD, do you think he/she would say it's the philosophy of allopathic medicine?

I don't think the average MD thinks much differently about their patients than the average DO. The "DO philosophy" seems a lot like an ad campaign to me.

That said, I do admire the DO philosophy of treating patients as a whole, considering their social status, and all that!
You just contradicted yourself by first saying that DO philosophy is an ad campaign and in practice is not much different from MD and then went on to say that you admire DO philosophy??

Pick a side.
 

munchymanRX

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DO or MD, it makes no difference. The measure of what kind of physician you are is established in your residency and your dealings with your patients once you're out in the world practicing.

There isn't a real difference in philosophy. There may have been in the 1800s when AT Still decided to go against mainstream medical thought and found the DO degree, but times have changed. Maintaining the best possible standards of care for patients is the mantra of both allopathic and osteopathic schools. Both programs ultimately yield wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) physicians with similar frequency.
 
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This is not to start any flames, but to share some info for people who may not be familiar with residency applications, as someone who is going thru the process right now.

after you are an attending, it does not matter whether you are DO or MD or carribean/foreign grad; however, when you apply for residency, non-US MD's are at a disadvantage compared to US MD grads, solely based on title/school location.

many(most?) DO students choose to apply to allopathic residencies as there are very few DO residencies (and out of the DO applicants i've talked to on interview trails, DO residencies seem to be not well liked even among DO grads)

applying to allopathic residencies means not only are you at a disadvantage compared to MD applicants but you also need to take USMLE's in addition to COMLEX. while MD applicants only need to take USMLE's

you generally need better grades/board scores to match into the same residency program as a DO or IMG compared to an MD applicant. It is also extremly difficult for DO's and IMG's to match into very competitive specialties like plastics, derm, radiology, or very competitive institutions like UCSF, hopkins. some residency programs openly state that they do not consider DO's.

many people who do have the stats to get into MD schools will choose MD over DO for this reason alone, and i would say rightfully so, who doesn't want to make life a little easier for themselves down the road?

If you are simply a stellar student who is going to rock your clinical rotations and obliterate the step tests, then you will have no trouble getting into the residency you want regardless of title/school, but this does not apply to the majority.

i personally don't believe there is any difference in the quality of education between the two - i feel what you learn in med school is mostly based on self motivation, but residency programs seem to think so.

infact, since residency programs don't disclose average stats of their residents, often times when applicants want to find less competitive programs, they look for ones with lots of IMGs(international medical grads, carribean grads) and DO's as their current residents.
 

1fastmedic

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Go where you get in and make the best of it. You are in control of what kind of physician you will be, regardless of where you graduate. Geez, not everyone is destined to be the chief of trauma surgery at Hopkins. It's amazing that people think that they haven't achieved anything unless they ace every class and get the most prestigious residency in the country. Even a physician in Po-Dunk County, Nowhere is making a difference in the lives of patients. A "doctor" is an advocate for patients, and that should be the priority, not what two letters follow your last name.
 
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Polo423

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Go where you get in and make the best of it. You are in control of what kind of physician you will be, regardless of where you graduate. Geez, not everyone is destined to be the chief of trauma surgery at Hopkins. It's amazing that people think that they haven't achieved anything unless they ace every class and get the most prestigious residency in the country. Even a physician in Po-Dunk County, Nowhere is making a difference in the lives of patients. A "doctor" is an advocate for patients, and that should be the priority, not what two letters follow your last name.
I wholeheartedly agree
 

fozzy40

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For those pre-meds who are interested in musculoskeletal medicine (PM&R, sports medicine, pain medicine) or will be seeing a good amount of common musculoskeletal complaints (i.e. family, peds, IM) I definitely think that osteopathic training will set you apart. There is very little musculoskeletal training in the allopathic curriculum so i think if this is an interest of yours going osteopathic is good choice.

FYI...I was a little skeptical with how some osteopathic principles are taught but continued to be a good OMM regardless. I'm currently a PM&R resident and I can tell you (overall) for a fact that we are receiving high level training. Some of the principles that are being taught in residency are things that DO's have been doing since day 1. So there is a difference.
 
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Regarding the "DO philosophy," let me ask a hypothetical question. If you stripped the "DO philosophy" of any identifying references to osteopathic medicine and then showed it to an MD, do you think he/she would say it's the philosophy of allopathic medicine?

I don't think the average MD thinks much differently about their patients than the average DO. The "DO philosophy" seems a lot like an ad campaign to me.

That said, I do admire the DO philosophy of treating patients as a whole, considering their social status, and all that!
There is a difference; and I'm applying primarily DO (I live 1mi from an MD school so gotta try not to move).

I could/will be an MD if that is what comes; but allopathy is focused on treating symptoms. Osteophathy is about the whole body and finding a cause that can be resolved; rather than just writing a script. I expect I will end up keeping some of my more holistic opinions to myself if I end up allopathic.

Before anyone gets offended, yes there are Dr's in both worlds that are moderate & extreme; BUT here is a simple 'real-world' comparison:

Ear infections are almost NEVER bacterial and 2 options for a patient with ear pain are:
You could write a script for PCN, knowing it won't do crap but you will have done 'something' and the patient will be happier. OR
You could suggest warm compresses, and possibly some warm olive oil in the ear canal (ancient herbal remedy for ear pain).

Neither will cure the virus but who do you think would be more likely to pick each as their 1st option an MD or a DO???????
 

Rollo

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There is a difference; and I'm applying primarily DO (I live 1mi from an MD school so gotta try not to move).

I could/will be an MD if that is what comes; but allopathy is focused on treating symptoms. Osteophathy is about the whole body and finding a cause that can be resolved; rather than just writing a script. I expect I will end up keeping some of my more holistic opinions to myself if I end up allopathic.

Before anyone gets offended, yes there are Dr's in both worlds that are moderate & extreme; BUT here is a simple 'real-world' comparison:

Ear infections are almost NEVER bacterial and 2 options for a patient with ear pain are:
You could write a script for PCN, knowing it won't do crap but you will have done 'something' and the patient will be happier. OR
You could suggest warm compresses, and possibly some warm olive oil in the ear canal (ancient herbal remedy for ear pain).

Neither will cure the virus but who do you think would be more likely to pick each as their 1st option an MD or a DO???????
Hate to burst your bubble but DO schools don't teach ancient herbal remedies.

And also to further burst your bubble, common cause of otitis media is Strep pneumoniae which is, as you may or may not know, bacterial.

I'm just going to keep bursting your bubble and tell you that studies have shown that most kids recover without antibiotic treatment.

Excuse me while I go back to studying flower essence therapy and practicing shaman magic since it is part of required curriculum here at PCOM.
 
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Hate to burst your bubble but DO schools don't teach ancient herbal remedies.

And also to further burst your bubble, common cause of otitis media is Strep pneumoniae which is, as you may or may not know, bacterial.

I'm just going to keep bursting your bubble and tell you that studies have shown that most kids recover without antibiotic treatment.

Excuse me while I go back to studying flower essence therapy and practicing shaman magic since it is part of required curriculum here at PCOM.
Sadly this was not me as a child :(
 

smq123

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Ear infections are almost NEVER bacterial and 2 options for a patient with ear pain are:
You could write a script for PCN, knowing it won't do crap but you will have done 'something' and the patient will be happier. OR
You could suggest warm compresses, and possibly some warm olive oil in the ear canal (ancient herbal remedy for ear pain).

Neither will cure the virus but who do you think would be more likely to pick each as their 1st option an MD or a DO???????
So....will DO schools also teach you how to successfully defend yourself in court when one of your patients with "viral" otitis media ends up with bacterial meningitis?

I work with a lot of DOs. I'm an MD in a dually accredited program. I have NEVER seen a DO recommend "warm olive oil" for OM. Regardless of whatever preconceived notions you have about the "DO philosophy," DOs are held to the expected standard of care in malpractice court. Spouting some earthy nonsense about "Osteopathy is about herbal remedies that treat the whole person!" isn't going to help you at all in a lawsuit.
 

Dr Fraggle

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For those pre-meds who are interested in musculoskeletal medicine (PM&R, sports medicine, pain medicine) or will be seeing a good amount of common musculoskeletal complaints (i.e. family, peds, IM) I definitely think that osteopathic training will set you apart. There is very little musculoskeletal training in the allopathic curriculum so i think if this is an interest of yours going osteopathic is good choice.

FYI...I was a little skeptical with how some osteopathic principles are taught but continued to be a good OMM regardless. I'm currently a PM&R resident and I can tell you (overall) for a fact that we are receiving high level training. Some of the principles that are being taught in residency are things that DO's have been doing since day 1. So there is a difference.
This times 1000! I have seen first hand on rotations that my working knowledge of msk structure, function and dysfunction is much larger than fellow md students. So much so that one md student asked me if I knew all of that because I wanted to go into Ortho. I chuckled and say heck no. I knew it because I am a do student. It's just part of the curriculum.

I also liked that when evaluating msk complaints, I had another set of treatment options to suggest for patients beyond the nsaids etc that the md students were able to suggest.

And yes, I have done OMM on patients depending on the type of rotation and the attending. I did a lot on my fm rotation and found it to be very effective for things like back pain, headache, plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain and reduced rom, etc.