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What can a DO specialize in?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by Hopefulonco21, 05.19.14.

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  1. Hopefulonco21

    Hopefulonco21

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    Im looking to become an oncologist. Can DOs specialize in oncology or surgical oncology or is it just not possible?

    Am I better off just going to a foreign MD school or are my chances better with an American DO?

    Thanks
     
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  3. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Your chances are far better as a DO than a foreign MD. Rad onc is basically out of the picture for both though, so you'd have to get into a good IM program and then do the heme onc route. Surg onc is kind of the same- you're going to need a mid-high tier surgical residency followed by a fellowship. It's easier to get a mid-high tier residency as a DO than IMG, so DO is the way to go. Either way, medicine is not something you should go into if you are gunning for a very specific specialty, as it is highly unlikely you will end up in that specialty, and your idea of said specialty might be far better than the reality of clinical practice. You're just setting yourself up for disillusion and hating your career if either it turns out to not be what you expected or you don't get into your specialty of choice. Go into medicine because you like medicine, and figure it out from there.
     
  4. Hopefulonco21

    Hopefulonco21

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    Ok but it is possible to specialize as a DO
     
  5. Elevencents

    Elevencents 5+ Year Member

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  6. bionerd89

    bionerd89 2+ Year Member

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    Tbh you need to do some more research if you really plan to go to a DO school. I would suggest the "search" function on SDN or google. You shouldn't count on strangers to determine your future.

    @madjack answered your questions so eloquently and yet you still ask if a DO can specialize.
     
  7. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    ttwil117 likes this.
  8. mct2762

    mct2762 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    Short answer: DO's can specialize in ANYTHING an MD can specialize in.
     
    Prettywoman0172 and touchpause13 like this.
  9. rzoo14

    rzoo14 2+ Year Member

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    Only in the janitorial arts.
     
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  10. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Hey, you forgot about barber surgery and bone magic.
     
  11. mct2762

    mct2762 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    I personally plan to specialize in voodoo, but that's just me. I hear its really hard to get in to anyway, so not holding my breath
     
    Mad Jack likes this.
  12. QueenJames

    QueenJames 2+ Year Member

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    Was about to go apesh!t because a lot of these threads are popping up...

    then I realized it's that time of the year again here on good ol' SDN!
     
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  13. iWillOneDay

    iWillOneDay Banned Banned

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    Wow......
    Do I have to start with this thing again with people asking unnecessary questions that have been answered on this website and many others previously??

    And please don't give me any negative feedback because half of the responses on this thread is already about ridiculous stuff (bone magic, voodoo, etc)

    I already got a warning about my inappropriate language on this website....
    Only if I could say what I really want to say.....

    Nothing is impossible as a DO if you put effort into it!!!
    So Close the (sexual intercourse) up and do your homework!
     
  14. Hopefulonco21

    Hopefulonco21

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    I was agreeing with the second comment at the top.....this forum has been extremely helpful -_-
     
  15. BestDoctorEver

    BestDoctorEver Banned Banned Account on Hold 5+ Year Member

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    Your answer to OP is right on the money, but I disagree with you in one thing. 'Medicine is not something you should go into if you are gunning for a specific specialty....' Really! As for now, I am 99% into psych and 1% into FM/IM... Should I give up medicine because of that? Maybe I am incorrectly interpreting your statement.
     
  16. mct2762

    mct2762 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    I think he/she was just saying that if you ONLY see yourself doing this one specialty, think twice before going to med school, because chances are you may not end up in that specialty.
     
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  17. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    It's alright to know you want to go into a category of medicine- surgery, med, or psych, for instance- but if you want to do like, "forensic psychiatry," "interventional pulmonology," or "neurosurgery" for example, there is a good chance you're setting yourself up for some pain down the road. Like, I know I never want to do surgery, it's just not me, nor do I want to do radiology or anything to do with cancer. So I'm a med guy or a psych guy (god help me, psych is growing on me). IM is appealing, as is psych, pulm and EM. When I'm doing my rotations, there's a good chance I'm going to hate one or two of these fields and they won't meet my expectations. There's enough training positions and options, however, that if I don't enjoy or match one, I can probably match another. It would be extremely hard for me to end up hating my life and career with such a broad range of interests from which to choose, which are not highly competitive to get into to boot.

    But when people pick these niche areas prior to being exposed to what actual practicing physicians face in the field, and that is their only reason for doing medicine, that's a bit of a problem. It's easy for a kid to say "I want to work with dying people with cancer all day erryday!" Then they go into practice and realize it's emotionally too draining, that they can't handle fighting for reimbursement with companies that would rather let people die than pay out for an effective new drug, etc. Worse still, with these extremely competitive fields, there are far fewer training positions than those that want to train in them, so even if they love the field, they very well might never ever get to practice. If you don't have interests outside of a niche specialty or subspecialty and you end up in one of these situations, you're SOL and 250-400k in debt, which you'll be forced to slave away in a specialty you don't like for the next decade or more to pay down, on top of losing 7-10 years of your life in the training process. That's damn near two decades being gambled for, all on the off chance they both actually really love a specialty they've never practiced first hand and that they will match into said specialty. If you win, you win big. But the chances of losing, well, they're high, and you'll be losing enough time to watch your kids grow up, all because you thought you wanted to be a neurosurgeon or radiation oncologist when you were damn near 20 years old.
     
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  18. Hopefulonco21

    Hopefulonco21

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    Well I agree that mapped out courses are not for everyone, but for me personally I was a cancer patient and that has driven my desire to go back into the field because there is a connection that cancer patients have with one another. No one can understand the life and death fight better than someone who has been there. We all have reasons for choosing an initial specialty that we want and if it changes so be it but I like to think that it is where I will end up. We dont know a person's reason for choosing this specialty so who knows if they will like it or not but rather than spreading an overcast view of gloomy outlook I suggest a more positive out look on someone who already has their mind made up in some way shape or form
     
  19. mct2762

    mct2762 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    nicely said. I'm interested in peds surgery. I'm also not foolish enough to think that I'm definitely going to be one. Cause let's be honest, chances are slim. Fortunately, I also have many other interests: peds ER, peds oncology, neonatology, obgyn....so yeah, I may not end up in pedi surg, but Ill end up somewhere that I have an interest!
     
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  20. Hopefulonco21

    Hopefulonco21

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    are you doing DO or MD?
     
  21. mct2762

    mct2762 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    DO
     
  22. Hopefulonco21

    Hopefulonco21

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    What school?
     
  23. mct2762

    mct2762 Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    PM me if yah want more details
     
  24. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 2+ Year Member

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    OP please read stickies and use the search function before making a pointless thread
     
  25. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Better to concentrate on getting into medical school before fussing about specialty. Some of them are hard enough for MDs.

    If you're good enough, you can specialize in anything.

     
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  26. Ibn Alnafis MD

    Ibn Alnafis MD 7+ Year Member

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    In my opinion, Psych is the best kept secret in medicine. Work 35hrs/week and make 200K. It is nirvana if you ask me. However, it is one of those fields that you could either fall in love with or can't stomach. Unfortunately for me, I fall into the latter category.
     
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  27. apr27

    apr27 OMS-III 5+ Year Member

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    Just go to school and murk it.
     
  28. Tariqd

    Tariqd 2+ Year Member

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    why are you not considering MD schools also??
     
  29. MrWonderful

    MrWonderful 2+ Year Member

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    The disparities between MD and DO are grossly exaggerated on this forum. Go to Med school, do Well, and open some doors for yourself. Your success will be proportional to Whatever you do or fail to do. Close thread.
     
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  30. Jnet389

    Jnet389 2+ Year Member

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    I agree. My father in law goes to a radiation oncologist who is a DO. Many would say this is impossible on here.
     
  31. Beargryllz

    Beargryllz 2+ Year Member

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    Everything
     
  32. cliquesh

    cliquesh 7+ Year Member

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    In 2014:

    There were 56 surg-onc fellowship spots: 1 DO matched
    There were 512 hem/onc IM fellowship spots: 27 DOs matched
    There were 179 rad/onc spots: 4 DOs matched.

    In 2011, roughly 2/3 of DOs who applied for a hem/onc fellowship matched.
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
  33. Ibn Alnafis MD

    Ibn Alnafis MD 7+ Year Member

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    Call me an optimist, but matching 4 out of 126 spots in a field that is considered ultra competitive is amazing.
     
  34. MrWonderful

    MrWonderful 2+ Year Member

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    The letters after your name don't say anything about how competitive a specialty is nor do they predict your ability as a physician. I hope for your future patients sake you care as much about them as you do about these confounding statistics about matching
     
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  35. Trannie

    Trannie A-List Celebrity

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    DO = MD (legally) so you can apply for all specialties.
     
  36. hallowmann

    hallowmann 2+ Year Member

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    Plus DOs can also specialize in NMM (MDs can't, at least not until the GME merger fully goes through).
     
  37. NontradCA

    NontradCA American Hero 2+ Year Member

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    Haha bone magic.
     
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  38. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    whats amazing is how many rad onc docs are from PCOM, just through a quick google search.
     
  39. postbacpremed87

    postbacpremed87 5+ Year Member

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    Either write a novel or work 10 more hours (let's be honest - 45 isn't a lot) and make 25-30k more.

    Are you still interested in surgery?
     
  40. Drrrrrr. Celty

    Drrrrrr. Celty Osteo Dullahan 7+ Year Member

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    Right, no one will die working till 6 or on a Saturday once a month or etc.
     
  41. Ibn Alnafis MD

    Ibn Alnafis MD 7+ Year Member

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    Yup. I'm secretly hoping for a horrible experience during my 3rd year surgery rotation so I could eliminate surgery and never look back. I'm also interested in neurology, but I can't get over the fact that I have always wanted to work with my hands and make an immediate difference in people's lives.
     
  42. Ibn Alnafis MD

    Ibn Alnafis MD 7+ Year Member

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    I noticed this too.
     
  43. postbacpremed87

    postbacpremed87 5+ Year Member

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    I still think interventional neuro is for you. You will literally stop a stroke from happening.
     
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