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Why attend an allopathic medical school? Somebody convince me please

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by han14tra, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. han14tra

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    I am deciding between Jefferson, PCOM, LECOM, and possibly TCMC.

    LECOM is really close to home and it has the added advantage of manipulation. However, Jefferson is very good school.

    Help me. How would you decide which school to go to? Are there advantages to going to an allopathic school? Are there advantages to going to an osteopathic medical school?

    I have my own opinions about all of this, but I'm looking for some other perspectives.
     
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  2. teddybear

    teddybear "Teddy"
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    This debate is as old as SDN itself. An MD is a doctor. A DO is a doctor. End of discussion.

    I personally am leaning toward allopathic only because osteopathic emphasizes the musculoskeletal system and that's not what I'm primarily interested in. Everybody's different.
     
  3. 213965

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    From my *extremely* limited experience, in general, I've gotten the sense that allopathic schools receive more funding (esp. for research) and therefore have more resources (in general) available for their students, such as quality or number of cadavers, patient simulators, etc. I am also applying to both and am curious to see the responses on this thread as well as I've definitely wondered the same thing.
     
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  4. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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    I would post this in the pre-do forum, I doubt you will get any serious answers here. If you would like to learn the philosophy behind osteopathic medicine, go to LECOM. Searching will yield better results.
     
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  5. Bacchus

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    You're going to get a great education at Jefferson. However, if you're not a fan of the city Jefferson or PCOM won't work for you. In all practicality, I would make the decision between PCOM and Jefferson. The opportunities for these two schools are numerous. PCOM has the added benefit of manipulation. Its reputation is well respected as is Jefferson's. LECOM may be close to your home, but are you attending Erie or the new branch campus? There is always a reservation about being at a new campus that has just started. Its even more irking when financial aid is in the air (TCMC). The difference in cost between PCOM and Jefferson is ~7000, I believe. With PCOM you have the benefit of living in the suburbs so you are removed from some elements that are prevalent in Center City (the homeless, extreme hustle and bustle, lots of people). Ultimately, you are going to have to ask yourself where you want to go sooner or later, and sooner if it is a DO school--Dec 15 is creeping up very quickly. The draw to TCMC is its "new" approach to clinical and inclassroom training. However, any school is going to prepare you just as well for the primary care fields (which I believe you're interested in). Finally, you're a cool person and I'd be glad to have you as my classmate ;).
     
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  6. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Didnt you know? DO's practice voodoo medicine.
     
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  7. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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    A (D.O.) doctor is a (M.D.) doctor. A (D.O.) med school is a (M.D.) med school.
     
  8. Bacchus

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    PCOM is well equipped with technology. This is another selling point for the school. There are "three" patient simulators: a man, a woman, and her baby. There are laprascopic simulators as well. All lectures are available online so you are not forced to attend lecture whereas LECOM requires attendance. You can learn in your own style.
     
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  9. Slowpoke

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    I'll tell you how you should decide on this situation.






























    flip a coin
     
  10. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    I'm going to try to paraphrase what I've read in the many threads there have been about this topic, and to ask all the lovely SDNers out there to not make this the usual flamewar.

    I'd say the ONLY reasons to pick an allo school over an osteo school (with finaid/location/"fit" being equal) are:

    1) if you might want to practice in another country. DOs might have some trouble with licensing elsewhere.

    2) if you absolutely positively hate OMM and don't want to learn it.

    3) if you're of the opinion that "patients care" whether you're a DO or an MD. If you're in an area where there aren't tons of DO schools (or at least they're really outnumbered by MD schools) you might find people who don't know what a DO is. To what extent this matters is a matter up for debate (most patients couldn't care less who you are as long as you know what's wrong with them).

    4) if you want to get a super-duper prestigious residency. This may or may not be more difficult for DOs (again, up for debate), as some would argue that osteo schools are more geared toward the primary care specialties. This doesn't mean that the door to neurosurgery/dermatology/ortho are closed, however- just that as a rule, fewer DOs than MDs tend to be in these fields, for whatever reason.

    5) if you don't want to deal with having to take both the MD and DO boards (I believe this is your choice, however).

    6) if you want to be pretty heavily involved with research in med school. MD schools tend to have more resources for that.


    Ok, I think that covers all the ones I can remember.

    BE NICE, EVERYONE!
     
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  11. 213965

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    Thanks for clarifying that, Bacchus. The unfortunate thing is I have yet to hear from PCOM and I believe I've been complete for a while now (> 3 weeks) :( Ideally, I'd like to send letters of interest but I have a feeling they're so flooded with apps they probably won't even have the time to read it.
     
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  12. Bacchus

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    Not to derail, but they send secondaries to all applicants. If you have any questions jet over to the pre-DO forum or send me a PM.
     
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  13. OP
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    han14tra

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    You all mentioned some new information that I hadn't thought about before. It is a lot easier to do research at Jefferson (just because I'm in the PSAP program, and I get priority to do it). I'll have to look into research at PCOM. I know LECOM doesn't offer a lot of research experiences.

    Thanks for giving me something different to think about. I appreciate your help.
     
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  14. JaggerPlate

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    you're not going to get a straight answer on any threads in this forum. People are going to have their biases ... and try to sell you down their route no matter what. You should do as much research as you can and pick the school that is the best fit. I'm 99% sure this thread will go down in flames though ...
     
  15. Bacchus

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    I've been told research at PCOM is easy to get involved in, even moreso if you did research in undergrad (so you don't have to be trained). Here's a link to all active projects: http://www.pcom.edu/Research/Research_and_Scholarly_Activit/Research_and_Scholar.html
     
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  16. OP
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    han14tra

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    This is no easy decision. I spent my entire Thanksgiving Break researching all of the schools. I hope that this thread doesn't end in flames. They all have their positives and negatives. I KNOW...I'm doing exactly what they said not to do at my PCOM interview (that is to pick your medical school by making lists rather than choosing with your gut/heart and where you'll be comfortable). Ahh..Dec 15 is coming way too fast.
     
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  17. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Well, I think that unless your gut/heart tells you "I would most unquestionably be happy at X" it's perfectly acceptable (and even advisable) to compare lists/schools/attributes. Sometimes your gut just makes rumbly sounds, like when you're hungry and stuff ;) Your gut doesn't always have the answers to where you should go to medical school.

    My $0.02.

    (Sorry I have nothing else of value to add. Good luck in your decision).
     
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  18. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    please all forgive me for saying this, i mean no offense, but unless you want to learn OMM, is there any disadvantage to an allopathic school?
     
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  19. Bacchus

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    Technology, learning structure, environment, rotations, location, fit, feeling, faculty, cost, etc. Many DO students apply to both and based on criteria pick where to go. Unless you abhor OMM there is no reason not to consider the DO schools if you're not super-competitive by MD standards.
     
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  20. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.
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    You are going to make it very difficult for yourserlf to get into the more competitive residencies if you go DO. I wouldn't limit my options this early in the game and choose the one that would give me more options.
     
  21. iGolf

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    Why would I want to sell a competing applicant down the same road I am? I never really understood why people do this (I mean, not like it makes a difference but...) why would you want to convince MORE people to be applying to MD schools?

    Go DO, get out of my way.
     
  22. 213965

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    ... what a relief to see I most likely won't have someone like this as my classmate :laugh:
     
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  23. Bacchus

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    One person is not going to throw your chances out of 10's of thousands of applicants. Relax. Throw someone under the bus at a later date.
     
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  24. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Words of wisdom. :thumbup:
     
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  25. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    Considering your personal interests, I'd ask: Do any of the schools have a rural med track?
     
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  26. JaggerPlate

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    #26 JaggerPlate, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  27. chewsnuffles

    chewsnuffles is a series of tubes
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    Not so much from the perspective of MD vs DO, but Jefferson vs ANY SCHOOL is an interesting (hard) question.

    Personally, from what I've heard, Jefferson is one of the most under appreciated schools out there "rankings wise", and the satisfaction level of their students is very high
     
  28. OP
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    han14tra

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    That would be Jefferson. I am in the Physician Shortage Area Program, which is for students that have grown up rural and want to return to their hometowns as doctors. This program gives me priority for doing research and priority to do rural clinical rotations (which from what I've heard are popular because you get to do much more in a rural rotation). I will also have a faculty mentor from day 1.

    Thank you
     
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  29. Bacchus

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    I think you should take your Jefferson acceptance and run. You'll be able to do rural care anywhere, but PCOM doesn't have a program. LECOM does, as you know, but it short tracks you. Unless you're 100% sure you want to do some form of primary care, this wouldn't be a good idea because you cut out all non-primary care electives. TCMC is all about keep physicians in the greater Scranton area, so you'd get what you want there, too.

    However, you haven't defended TCMC, PCOM, or LECOM as much as Jefferson. Congratulations, start looking for housing in Center City and get used to SEPTA. :)
     
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  30. OP
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    han14tra

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    Bacchus, you're great. You always help me out on the pre-osteo and the pre-allo threads.

    I really appreciate all the advice because there are no doctors in my family. There are no other pre-med students in my community. I really don't know how I would do this without SDN. SDN will get a Christmas gift from me this month.:D
     
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  31. closer23

    closer23 Liberal
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    Everyone missed your sarcasm.

    Including:

     
  32. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    I'm not seeing how the bolded portion indicates sarcasm...
     
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  33. NTF

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    OK, I'm going to do some amateur (and therefore totally unreliable) pop psychology.

    We all know you as an avid reader and poster on SDN. I find it hard to believe this is really an allo vs. osteo dilemma here because from what I know of you, you've educated yourself on all the relevant details.

    So I'm thinking that you're posting this thread to assuage some guilt you have about wanting to go to the school that you REALLY KNOW you want to go to.

    You either:

    a) Really like some allo school but somehow feel guilty that you're turning away from a perceived kinship to osteo sensibilities. (Or less face it, you'd rather go allo for the petty reasons that we pre-meds want allo over osteo - I'm guilty of that thinking myself sometimes)
    b) Really like some osteo school but feel guilty about it because you think you shouldn't be turning down an allo school.
    c) Some other conflicted reason I can't think of.

    But in the end, you're a smart person from what I can tell who knows as much as a premed can know about osteo vs. allo. Pick the school where you'll be happiest at that combines all of the following criteria:

    1) Personal happiness during your 4 years
    2) Quality of education & training
    3) Price

    Don't make this an allo vs. osteo thing.

    Make it a school vs. another school thing and it's all about what's best for me thing.
     
  34. Bacchus

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    I think nontradfogie is right in thinking.
     
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  35. Bacchus

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    I would strike LECOM and TCMC from your list. When you have those choices amongst PCOM and Jefferson they just can't hold up. LECOM is a good institution, but you'll be afforded more opportunities in Philadelphia, even though you don't like this city ;) (PCOM doesn't have bums like Center City does :p). Do the analysis between PCOM and Jeff and come to a conclusion. Neither will be a wrong choice, but Jeff does have the program. I'm so envious of you right now ;).
     
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  36. 8744

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    Hey, that Rural Medicine thing...kind of silly when you think about it and kind of like the useless costs a car dealer adds to the price when he tries sell you a car except in the case of medical school they are trying to lock you into a career track that might not suit you.

    Generally, if you do a primary care residency you can move to the country and practice rural medicine. "Rural" medicine my have a few unique challenges but it's not exactly a specialty by itself. I could hang up my shingle in my home town and, voila, I'm practicing rural medicine.
     
  37. Mobius1985

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    Here, here!
     
  38. OP
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    han14tra

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    Personally, I think the rural med track is a great idea. They are giving selective admission to students from small towns where the education probably wasn't great to begin with. It's been very successful. They don't force you to practice in a rural area (there is no contract or financial assistance), so there is still opportunity to change your mind...although there is 0.1% chance of that happening for me.
     
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  39. bcat85

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    Holy cheapness and easier residency match batman.

    :eek:
     
  40. Bacchus

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    Panda has a point. Its great that you got in based on wanting to "go back home." However, any school will get you matched into primary care, regardless of osteo and allo. Like said above, pick based on school, not degree because your future plans are "easily" achievable at either type of institution. Now for some reason if you strayed into an "uber competitive" field, PCOM or Jeff will help you the most in the match.
     
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  41. sexyman

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    (for the record I am at a DO school and love it here)

    If you go to Jefferson you will never have to explain what a DO is...
    You will only need to take 1 set of boards...
    Did I mention you will never have to explain what a DO is? haha
     
  42. sexyman

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    Seriously though- there are plenty of reasons to go to JEFF and I am sure there are plenty of reasons to go to LECOM.

    Personally if I had the money (cause Jeff is expensive as hell) I would go to JEFF because it is in Philadelphia and I love Philly, and it is too cold and snowy at LECOM.
     
  43. engineeredout

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    LECOM = the cheapest I believe, in terms of both tuition and living expenses. That should weigh heavily.
     
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  44. OP
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    han14tra

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    Jefferson = $$$$. The price tag is about $67,000/yr. I think LECOM is about $35,000. Both estimates include cost of living. Luckily, I probably won't be paying a dime. I'm in negotiations with a hospital to get them to cover the cost. :D
     
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  45. Bacchus

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    Thats LECOM if you apply and do their primary care path. All for schools, TCMC, Jeff, PCOM, and LECOM won't lock you out of anything if your path doesn't "require" it. Only LECOM will if you do the primary care path. You get done a year earlier because unnecessary electives are taken away.
     
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  46. Bacchus

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    Jefferson isn't much more expensive than PCOM. I believe tuition difference over 4 years is approximately $30,000. Its a lot of money when you add it up. Here's the new question for you. OMM? --> Yes or no?
     
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  47. OP
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    han14tra

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    I like OMM and I believe that it works in some cases. However, there are opportunities for allopathic physicians to learn OMM (CME credits can be earned). OMM isn't a huge factor in my decision because from what I've seen shadowing physicians, a lot of patients don't want to be touched by their doctor. Some of the DOs I shadowed had difficulty convincing patients that OMM could help them. Some people were even afraid of it. However, after 1 manipulation most were sold on it.

    If I decide to go DO, I'll surely use it. I'm VERY annoyed by DO doctors that don't use manipulation at all especially when they are in ortho or family med.
     
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  48. Bacchus

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    I'm all out of advice. You can learn OMM as an MD, but it won't be "cemented" in you like if you went to an osteopathic school. Also, you can't do a fellowship in OMM as an MD.
     
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  49. FadingPromise

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    I will simply add my portion of experience with no intention of starting a flame war. No matter how many pre-meds tell you right now that MDs and DOs are both called "doctors" and that both schools are called "med schools," going to DO school instead of MD does close many doors. Not withstanding whether this is right or not, many PDs still have bias against DOs, and DOs typically have to prove that they aren't incompetent during their residency/specialty selection while many MDs are assumed to be acceptable if no obvious problems are seen. And it is not just about getting into competitive residencies. You may have even limited options of choosing specialties. Unless you are very clear that you want to go into certain specialty that you know for SURE that would not be hindered by your status of being DO (which, by the way, also can change while you are in the school...), I would be very cautious about going DO.
     
  50. Bacchus

    Staff Member Administrator Physician Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

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    I'm just going to throw it out there, we are talking about PCOM for one of the DO schools. I hope I didn't just break the camel's back.
     
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