Why are acceptance rates for osteopathic schools so low?

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virtuoso735

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I know gaining a spot at an osteopathic school can be difficult too, but I just borrowed the latest edition of the 'U.S. News Ultimate Guide to Medical Schools' from the library, and I am extremely surprised at the low acceptance rates of osteopathic medical schools. Most schools are hovering below a 10% acceptance rate, and Touro University in California (a school in my area) has an acceptance rate of 6%! But I've never heard of it being particularly competitive around here or anything.

What gives? These acceptance rates are lower than acceptance rates for undergraduate programs at most ivy league colleges (different story, I know, but still)! Is it just that hordes of unqualified people are applying, or are osteopathic med schools more competitive than most people make them out to be?
 

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I know gaining a spot at an osteopathic school can be difficult too, but I just borrowed the latest edition of the 'U.S. News Ultimate Guide to Medical Schools' from the library, and I am extremely surprised at the low acceptance rates of osteopathic medical schools. Most schools are hovering below a 10% acceptance rate, and Touro University in California (a school in my area) has an acceptance rate of 6%! But I've never heard of it being particularly competitive around here or anything.

What gives? These acceptance rates are lower than acceptance rates for undergraduate programs at most ivy league colleges (different story, I know, but still)! Is it just that hordes of unqualified people are applying, or are osteopathic med schools more competitive than most people make them out to be?
Getting into medical school is difficult...period. I am shocked it is even 10%. I thought it was <5%.
 

user3

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The acceptance rates quoted are often based on # of matriculants/total # of applicants.

This total # applied that you see is the number of people that sent primaries, not the number of COMPLETE applications. A school can receive 4,000 primaries for a class of 200 but only have 2,500 of those 4,000 complete their entire file. Second, many people withdraw pre-interview, post-interview, and post-waitlist. Third, the number accepted that these sources quote is often just the number of matriculants, not the actual number offered admission.

The most accurate figure for the acceptance rate would be # admitted/ (# of applicants - # withdrawing pre-secondary, pre-interview, post-interview, and post-waitlist)

And finally, none of these take into account the quality of the applicant pool. So in the end, it isn't worth paying much attention to a given school's applicant:seat ratio, but instead seeing how well you stack up to the typical matriculant.
 
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virtuoso735

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Ok, so it's a little better than I thought. So the acceptance rates provided in the U.S. News book is just the number of matriculants, for both MD and DO schools? Most schools would accept more students than they expect to matriculate, right? For osteopathic schools, what would be a good estimate for acceptance rate be then? Twice the number of students that matriculate? One and a half times?
 

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IWhat gives? These acceptance rates are lower than acceptance rates for undergraduate programs at most ivy league colleges (different story, I know, but still)! Is it just that hordes of unqualified people are applying, or are osteopathic med schools more competitive than most people make them out to be?
I think they are much more competitive than most people think. Osteopathic programs don't just accept anyone that applies, unlike pre-allo fanboys like to say. Osteopathic programs put a strong emphasis on trying to find applicants that are not only qualified, but that they believe want to go into osteopathic medicine for the right reasons.
 

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We had roughly 7000 apps for the class of 2014 (mine) @ PCOM....for 275 spots. So thats like a 3.9 percent acceptance rate. The class of 2015 had even more apps for the same number of spots.
 

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There's roughly 24k slots in md + do schools combined this year in the US (a little over 5k DO and 19k MD). The number of undergraduate students that start at the 8 Ivy League schools every year is like 16k glancing at Wikipedia.

So yeah.
 
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ljpm8224

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Touro University in California (a school in my area) has an acceptance rate of 6%!

cmon... for this particular school, isn't this a no brainer? Highly desirable area to live + ENORMOUS applicant pool living nearby (in crazily densely populated state) + people who not wanting to uproot their lives, stay close to families, ties, etc ----> zillions of applicants---> low acceptance rate.

also I bet there's a lot of Bay Area fallout of people who don't meet the minimum requirements to make UCSF but they're like "gee, I really love SF and wanna stay in the Bay/Cali, so..."
 

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Medical school is hard to get into, but an acceptance rate does not determine its competitiveness, nor does its applicant to seat ratio. If that was the case then dentistry is more competitive than MD.
 

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ATSU-SOMA got somewhere in the neighborhood of 6K apps, there are ~100 seats.

I think it would be dishonest to imply that a significant portion of DO applicants are bottom of the barrel type folks. People who are at the cusp of being elligible to even apply in the first place. It's a byproduct of the school's reputations for being willing to look at applicants with lower numbers. I think they still end up with similarly high caliber students in the end, but some people read that as them admitting under qualified people.

I like to think of it like college football. MD is like the BCS conferences. They only take highly touted athletes, and most of the time thy works well for them. DO is like Boise State etc. they see potential in guys that the bigger schools would take a pass on, coach them up, and THEY turn them into highly touted athletes.

Either way, I think anyone who gets the chance to attend (DO or MD) is lucky and should feel proud.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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What are the average stats of an Applicant, admitted, and matriculate For Osteopathic medical schools?
 
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willen101383

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What are the average stats of an Applicant, admitted, and matriculate For Osteopathic medical schools?

Look in the CIB I believe its in there. I think PCOM accepts like 75% of the people they interview.
 

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I am very surprised that you didn't expect obtaining admission to DO schools is that hard.
Although getting into DO schools is relatively a little easier than MD schools. But come on, they are medical schools, and their graduates are going to become physicians. It should be no surprise here.

In general, getting into medical schools (MD/DO) is much harder than getting into good graduate schools.
 

SpecterGT260

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I am very surprised that you didn't expect obtaining admission to DO schools is that hard.
Although getting into DO schools is relatively a little easier than MD schools. But come on, they are medical schools, and their graduates are going to become physicians. It should be no surprise here.

In general, getting into medical schools (MD/DO) is much harder than getting into good graduate schools.
this :thumbup:

Even with the lower admissions standards at most DO schools as compared to most MD schools, the differences are not so great that we would expect everyone to be swept up by DO schools. The applicant pool is huge every year and full of people with "wishful thinking" sort of stats relative to the programs they are trying to get in to.
 

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I know gaining a spot at an osteopathic school can be difficult too, but I just borrowed the latest edition of the 'U.S. News Ultimate Guide to Medical Schools' from the library, and I am extremely surprised at the low acceptance rates of osteopathic medical schools. Most schools are hovering below a 10% acceptance rate, and Touro University in California (a school in my area) has an acceptance rate of 6%! But I've never heard of it being particularly competitive around here or anything.

What gives? These acceptance rates are lower than acceptance rates for undergraduate programs at most ivy league colleges (different story, I know, but still)! Is it just that hordes of unqualified people are applying, or are osteopathic med schools more competitive than most people make them out to be?

Gaining admission to medical schools is tough regardless whether MD or DO.

However, the information you get from looking only at the ratio of number accepted to number applied for each school can be deceiving. Most people apply to at least 10 schools, and some even apply to MD schools. As mentioned above, the most accurate information you get is the ratio of number admitted to number of complete applicants.

I was once told that being in the better third of the applicant pool gives you a decent shot at acceptance.
 

virtuoso735

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I knew osteopathic schools were competitive too, but I just didn't realize the extent of it. I'm always reading chances threads where people have 3.2 or 3.3 GPA's and 27 MCAT scores, and people are mostly telling them they that they have decent shots at DO schools. If DO schools are so competitive, would it make sense for people with GPA's lower than 3.5 or MCAT scores lower than 30 to apply to them?
 

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I knew osteopathic schools were competitive too, but I just didn't realize the extent of it. I'm always reading chances threads where people have 3.2 or 3.3 GPA's and 27 MCAT scores, and people are mostly telling them they that they have decent shots at DO schools. If DO schools are so competitive, would it make sense for people with GPA's lower than 3.5 or MCAT scores lower than 30 to apply to them?

competition is a relative term and it is dependent on those competing. medical school is more highly selective than dental school on average (GPA wise at least. I have seen some anecdotal evidence that suggests a mediocre MCAT will also translate into a rather competitive DAT). however I have also heard the argument "it is harder to get into dental school than medical school". Ive also heard this for PA school (my school has a very highly ranked PA program). While there may be some truth in the statement that the average applicant will have a harder fight ahead of him as opposed to the average applicant in another pool, this statement does not hold across applicant pools. The average stats of a medical applicant are highly competitive for PA or dental.

so moral of the story: the stats you see are correct. DO schools are still rather competitive. They are just less selective on average as compared to MD schools. It is all about the number of people pursuing something and what they have to offer that determines competition
 

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You also have to keep in mind that DO schools consider the EC part of your application to be just as important as your grades, to the point where they will gladly accept someone with a 3.2/26 with fantastic ECs and a demonstrated dedication to the school's overall mission/vision over someone with a 3.8/29 whose ECs are only average.
 
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willen101383

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PCOM is the BU of the DO world.

A direct quote during my orientation before M1 year "People will tell you that PCOM is the Harvard of the DO world...well they have it wrong, Harvard is the PCOM of the allo world" lol psh
 
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COMedic2Doc

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Definitely agree with the above statements regarding getting into DO school. It is highly competitive. DO is more considerate of one's ECs depending on the MD program. I have a feeling that MD programs are slowly starting to catch on to the EC part of applications beyond just research and looking for more life experience and maturity in their matriculants. It will take some time for this to fully be seen, but some schools show great promise in this regard. As mentioned before, those that are accepted to DO school should definitely feel very proud of this accomplishment. I love the football analogy as well.
 

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I know gaining a spot at an osteopathic school can be difficult too, but I just borrowed the latest edition of the 'U.S. News Ultimate Guide to Medical Schools' from the library, and I am extremely surprised at the low acceptance rates of osteopathic medical schools. Most schools are hovering below a 10% acceptance rate, and Touro University in California (a school in my area) has an acceptance rate of 6%! But I've never heard of it being particularly competitive around here or anything.

What gives? These acceptance rates are lower than acceptance rates for undergraduate programs at most ivy league colleges (different story, I know, but still)! Is it just that hordes of unqualified people are applying, or are osteopathic med schools more competitive than most people make them out to be?

In terms of acceptance rates as well as other relevant statistics, check out the last post of this thread:


http://forums.sdn.net/showthread.php?t=899172
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Definitely agree with the above statements regarding getting into DO school. It is highly competitive. DO is more considerate of one's ECs depending on the MD program. I have a feeling that MD programs are slowly starting to catch on to the EC part of applications beyond just research and looking for more life experience and maturity in their matriculants. It will take some time for this to fully be seen, but some schools show great promise in this regard. As mentioned before, those that are accepted to DO school should definitely feel very proud of this accomplishment. I love the football analogy as well.

Not really, MD schools on average require a lot of EC's to the point of Hoop jumping.
 

virtuoso735

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Is it really the case that DO schools emphasize EC's/life experience over MD schools? I mean, the average age of matriculating DO students is 24, the same age as the average age of a matriculating MD student. I could understand that DO schools might give more consideration to older, nontraditional students, but the claim that DO schools emphasize life experience over MD schools doesn't really seem to hold water.
 

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Is it really the case that DO schools emphasize EC's/life experience over MD schools? I mean, the average age of matriculating DO students is 24, the same age as the average age of a matriculating MD student. I could understand that DO schools might give more consideration to older, nontraditional students, but the claim that DO schools emphasize life experience over MD schools doesn't really seem to hold water.
Age is only one variable. Everyone I've seen successful in the D.O. application cycle as an underdog has had very good EC activities, be it through their college or life experiences, so at least in the case of underdogs, EC is considered a lot more, whereas in MD it seems lower scoring students, despite EC, still have to have some kind of SMP/Masters/Other academic to balance out.
 

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Age is only one variable. Everyone I've seen successful in the D.O. application cycle as an underdog has had very good EC activities, be it through their college or life experiences, so at least in the case of underdogs, EC is considered a lot more, whereas in MD it seems lower scoring students, despite EC, still have to have some kind of SMP/Masters/Other academic to balance out.

I beg to differ. EC's do help, but only to a point. I think the reason the "underdogs" did so well was because they weren't really underdogs to begin with. In my experience, people tend to overestimate their competitiveness for MD and underestimate their competitiveness for DO.

I don't think it is as much about the underdogs' EC's as much as it is the fact they had all of their ducks in a row- applied early and broadly, including to the less selective schools. And it paid off.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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For the majority of MD schools, a high GPA and MCAT often balance out shortcomings in ECs. This is not true for DO schools, so I would say that yes, DO schools place more emphasis on EC's than MD schools.

Not really, there are plenty of 3.7/35+'s who get rejected from MD schools simply due to lack of EC's like research and leadership. If anything I'm pretty sure DO schools are happy with you have 100 hours of clinical + 10-20 shadowing a DO. This is nothing compared to the average successful MD applicant who probably has over 500 hours of combined hoop jumping.

Sure you might bring up the point of DO schools liking Non-trads, but remember that the average age of a OMS-1 is only what? 2 years higher than a MS-1, and that generally both DO and MD schools are looking for the same thing in their students.
 
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SpecterGT260

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For the majority of MD schools, a high GPA and MCAT often balance out shortcomings in ECs. This is not true for DO schools, so I would say that yes, DO schools place more emphasis on EC's than MD schools.

I would argue that there is less opportunity to demonstrate that a high GPA and MCAT will compensate for low ECs because in the majority of such cases those people will apply MD. You are using a very specific point of view to look at the information you are presenting.

Furthermore, ECs are the easiest way to bolster an applications. GPA doesnt raise very easily, and the MCAT is a crap shoot. I am not aware of enough MCAT retake success stories to suggest that retaking the mcat with a marginal score is always the best of ideas. yes, if you feel confident you can increase your score then go for it, but that isnt what always happens. So basically your conclusion that DO adcoms look more favorably on ECs than MD adcoms can easily be written away as an artifact of what is available to each adcom. Again, anecdotally, when i had my DO interview I did not mince words and said in the interview that the largest benefit I saw to being DO was the perceived emphasis on holistic treatment by people who actually know who DOs are. I was still offered admission :thumbup: They also (particularly the MS4) focused largely on my MCAT score as if it was something they had never seen before.... "yes yes yes, Im sure all of your past achievements could be a wonderful asset here to us at Jacobson and Jacobsen, PLC., but let's talk about your pet dragon!" :confused:

10% of people with 38+ and 4.0s still were not admitted according to AAMC data. This will come down to LORs, personality at interview, and ECs. Unless we are assuming that 10% of all people with such stats are always D-bags with crappy letters, it is not unreasonable to assume that ECs play an important role in MD apps. Anecdotally my stats by # were very competitive by GPA and comfortably ahead of the pack by MCAT and I was turned down my first year by my top MD choice and told to work on ECs.

Moral of the story: there is nothing to suggest that a high MCAT and GPA wont compensate for ECs at a DO school IF the DO school were to see them.
 

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We had roughly 7000 apps for the class of 2014 (mine) @ PCOM....for 275 spots. So thats like a 3.9 percent acceptance rate. The class of 2015 had even more apps for the same number of spots.


You haveto look at the total number of people who were accepted. There were I believe 400 people accepted after interview, with 268 matriculated. ~9% (8.8%).
 

SpecterGT260

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You haveto look at the total number of people who were accepted. There were I believe 400 people accepted after interview, with 268 matriculated. ~9% (8.8%).

:confused:
400 acceptances is 5.7% of 7000. just on the mental math side you would expect something around 700 acceptances out of an app pool of 7000 to get near 10% as you did.
 

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Not really, there are plenty of 3.7/35+'s who get rejected from MD schools simply due to lack of EC's like research and leadership. If anything I'm pretty sure DO schools are happy with you have 100 hours of clinical + 10-20 shadowing a DO. This is nothing compared to the average successful MD applicant who probably has over 500 hours of combined hoop jumping.

I see what you're saying, but at the same time, I don't think 500 hours of hoop jumping is necessary to be a successful MD applicant. Anything over 100 hours of shadowing and another 100 hours of clinical exposure is more than likely overkill, and not necessary to convince adcoms that you are now aware of what you're getting into.

and that generally both DO and MD schools are looking for the same thing in their students.

Agreed. I'm not saying that MD schools don't look at ECs as an important part of the application. I guess what I'm saying is that I believe if someone's application is lacking in grades, DO schools are more likely to pull up the rest of the application and see what kind of other experiences the applicant has to offer that could make him a successful med student or maybe a reason why the applicants grades are low to begin with. I think that's a large part of the reason that DO schools have grade stats than MD.

Perhaps EC was the wrong term to use. Maybe I should have said I believe that ,traditionally, DO schools are more likely to look at the applicant as a whole than MD schools are. This is just an opinion, and I also think that more and more MD schools are starting to look at applicants the same way.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I see what you're saying, but at the same time, I don't think 500 hours of hoop jumping is necessary to be a successful MD applicant. Anything over 100 hours of shadowing and another 100 hours of clinical exposure is more than likely overkill, and not necessary to convince adcoms that you are now aware of what you're getting into.



Agreed. I'm not saying that MD schools don't look at ECs as an important part of the application. I guess what I'm saying is that I believe if someone's application is lacking in grades, DO schools are more likely to pull up the rest of the application and see what kind of other experiences the applicant has to offer that could make him a successful med student or maybe a reason why the applicants grades are low to begin with. I think that's a large part of the reason that DO schools have grade stats than MD.

Perhaps EC was the wrong term to use. Maybe I should have said I believe that ,traditionally, DO schools are more likely to look at the applicant as a whole than MD schools are. This is just an opinion, and I also think that more and more MD schools are starting to look at applicants the same way.


Well maybe if I had a 4.0 and a 35 on the mcat I could probably get by with just 100 hours of clinical + 50 hours of shadowing, but since it looks like I'll be just an average applicant I'll probably need to go up and beyond to make sure I can beat the other guy.
Generally I always disliked this notion that DO schools look at the whole person/applicant as opposed to MD schools. This usually is a rationalization of non-trads or students with lower averages that generally would get no love from MD, but are within the range of a DO school.
 

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[QUOTE
This usually is a rationalization of non-trads or students with lower averages that generally would get no love from MD, but are within the range of a DO school.[/QUOTE]

Speaking as a non-trad 3.95 gpa (and that's with no grade replacement) Ivy League graduate, I wonder why it is that we non-trads get grouped in with people with a lower average. Old does not mean stupid. Not only are we intelligent, but our life experience makes us wiser than traditional applicants. Please, on behalf of all of us, do not assume we need "rationalizations" in order to follow our dreams.
 

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Speaking as a non-trad 3.95 gpa (and that's with no grade replacement) Ivy League graduate, I wonder why it is that we non-trads get grouped in with people with a lower average. Old does not mean stupid. Not only are we intelligent, but our life experience makes us wiser than traditional applicants. Please, on behalf of all of us, do not assume we need "rationalizations" in order to follow our dreams.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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[QUOTE
This usually is a rationalization of non-trads or students with lower averages that generally would get no love from MD, but are within the range of a DO school.

Speaking as a non-trad 3.95 gpa (and that's with no grade replacement) Ivy League graduate, I wonder why it is that we non-trads get grouped in with people with a lower average. Old does not mean stupid. Not only are we intelligent, but our life experience makes us wiser than traditional applicants. Please, on behalf of all of us, do not assume we need "rationalizations" in order to follow our dreams.[/QUOTE]

It was not my intent to insult or insinuate that all non-trads are something that they are not.
 

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Speaking as a non-trad 3.95 gpa (and that's with no grade replacement) Ivy League graduate, I wonder why it is that we non-trads get grouped in with people with a lower average. Old does not mean stupid. Not only are we intelligent, but our life experience makes us wiser than traditional applicants. Please, on behalf of all of us, do not assume we need "rationalizations" in order to follow our dreams.

Well, there are a lot of us who had no real direction, didn't take college very seriously and wound up trying to play catch up with some of their more deidcated or parentally coerced peers. I fit in this category anyway.

According to a bunch of people, including my Mensa membership for whatever that's worth, I'm not *that* dumb. The difference, for me at least anyway, lies with motivation.

I'm still debating with myself whether or not I would chug through the OMM bull**** just to be a physician but I do see oodles of people rationalizing about why DO is 'so awesome' and how they 'can't wait' to get cracking on OMM... woof.
 
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Bisbee

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I agree that the OMM is a drawback for Osteopathic education. However, since Osteopathic schools are more "non-trad" friendly, I would prefer to go to an Osteopathic school than to an Allopathic one. I would find it more difficult socially to be the old one among mostly young people. I think it's important in medical school to feel comfortable and not out of place. I will need to blow off steam with others while sitting around knitting (now don't laugh), baking together and taking walks. I'm not saying that younger people won't want to do these things ever, but mostly different age groups are into different types of activities. I guess if I want to be in my comfort zone, I will have to endure the OMM (grin and bear it). It's hard to understand why it persists despite so many objections (ah...but that's fodder for another thread).
 

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Speaking as a non-trad 3.95 gpa (and that's with no grade replacement) Ivy League graduate, I wonder why it is that we non-trads get grouped in with people with a lower average. Old does not mean stupid. Not only are we intelligent, but our life experience makes us wiser than traditional applicants. Please, on behalf of all of us, do not assume we need "rationalizations" in order to follow our dreams.

It was not my intent to insult or insinuate that all non-trads are something that they are not.[/QUOTE]

I wasn't really trying to blast you or anything. I am just sensitive to some of the sentiments about non-trads and get tired of always having to prove myself worthy and capable just because of my age. I just wanted to get it out there that non-trads have the same ranges of IQ scores and GPA's as younger students. In fact, think of it...all our professors are "old", and they are the people we look up to as the knowledgeable ones. Anyway, sorry if I came off too harsh...didn't mean to...and it's really just food for thought for everyone, not just you.
 

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I agree that the OMM is a drawback for Osteopathic education. However, since Osteopathic schools are more "non-trad" friendly, I would prefer to go to an Osteopathic school than to an Allopathic one. I would find it more difficult socially to be the old one among mostly young people. I think it's important in medical school to feel comfortable and not out of place. I will need to blow off steam with others while sitting around knitting (now don't laugh), baking together and taking walks. I'm not saying that younger people won't want to do these things ever, but mostly different age groups are into different types of activities. I guess if I want to be in my comfort zone, I will have to endure the OMM (grin and bear it). It's hard to understand why it persists despite so many objections (ah...but that's fodder for another thread).

I like your thinking, and I totally empathize with you. The funny thing is that I can see the difference in the types of people who go to either allo or osteo right here on SDN. I'd argue the DO board is much more pleasant to post on and the content much more intriguing.

It's nice to be able to have conversations with people who actually have experience in the 'real world' and weren't cooped up in a university for the entirety of their adult life.
 

Mbeas

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I'm still debating with myself whether or not I would chug through the OMM bull**** just to be a physician but I do see oodles of people rationalizing about why DO is 'so awesome' and how they 'can't wait' to get cracking on OMM... woof.

I guess that's me....except for the fact that I don't rationalize anything and I don't judge something that I haven't tried.
 

7175pank

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I guess that's me....except for the fact that I don't rationalize anything and I don't judge something that I haven't tried.

I criticize heroine use frequently but that might not be applicable.
 
Last edited:

SpecterGT260

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I criticize heroine use frequently but that might not be applicable.

You should head Mbeas's advice and take heroine ASAP
Also a good many DO students rail against OMM as well.... it seems to be pre-DO and MS-0 types alone that get excited about it.
 
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