GCS-15

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Not trying to start a flame war or anything- just really curious.

Why do DO schools have lower avg gpa/mcat scores than MD schools? Also, often on the what are my chances threads, some people say others are "lethal" for MD schools, yet competitive for DO schools- is there really that much of a difference in terms of stats? If there is, why?

I know DO schools produce great physicians too- but I just don't get why there is the discrepancy.

Thanks
 

LuisCorinthiano

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I believe it is one word: tradition.

People think a MD will make them better doctors than a DO, and some do not even know what a DO is...
 
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GCS-15

GCS-15

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Its prestige. How stupid can you possibly be? Is this a joke? Did I just get subtly trolled?
Maybe I didn't know? Isn't this a place where you can ask questions and get answers? Maybe I wanted to know more info so I asked others that are more knowledgeable than me? How stupid can you possibly be?
 

allantois

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People don't want to be in primary care.
 

Goro

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More willing to accept people who demonstrate that "the you of then is not the you of now." It's also a pecking order kind of thing. You can ask your question about "why does Rosy Franklin or SLU have lower stats than Pitt or NYU?"

BTW, by LizzyM score, the CCOM and the coastal Touros are almost tied with Rosy F, LSU, Mercer, U AR, U KS, etc, with AZCOM and Western breathing down their necks!


Not trying to start a flame war or anything- just really curious.

Why do DO schools have lower avg gpa/mcat scores than MD schools? Also, often on the what are my chances threads, some people say others are "lethal" for MD schools, yet competitive for DO schools- is there really that much of a difference in terms of stats? If there is, why?

I know DO schools produce great physicians too- but I just don't get why there is the discrepancy.

Thanks
 

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NontradCA

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On an applicant to seat ratio, it is more competitive to gain admission to DO school than MD
That doesn't mean much at all. The pool of applicants is so different, that the vast majority of MD applicants would get interviews (and probably accepted) at every DO school they applied to.
 
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gonnif

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That doesn't mean much at all. The pool of applicants is so different, that the vast majority of MD applicants would get interviews (and probably accepted) at every DO school they applied to.
Other than the fact it is data and not hypothetical dismissal of information. The demographics and interconnectivity of the applicant pool are far more complex than most premedical students realize.
 

Mad Jack

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MD schools provide better opportunities, and thus will attract better applicants. That's just reality. If opportunities were equal between the two degrees, I guarantee competitiveness of the DO degree would shoot up.
 

NontradCA

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Other than the fact it is data and not hypothetical dismissal of information. The demographics and interconnectivity of the applicant pool are far more complex than most premedical students realize.
I'm not a premed. I'm someone who, over two years ago received interviews at the 10/10 DO schools I applied to and was offered multiple scholarships. It was not at all competitive for me. In contrast, I received several MD rejections.

We can objectively look at the data and see that the avg MCAT/GPAs are significantly different between both applicants and matriculate, which are the main determining factors of admission.
 

ortnakas

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That doesn't mean much at all. The pool of applicants is so different, that the vast majority of MD applicants would get interviews (and probably accepted) at every DO school they applied to.
That's a fair point, but I think/hope most people who use that statistic aren't trying to say that DO schools are on the same tier as Johns Hopkins, but that it isn't as easy to get admissions as Greendale Community College, either (my apologies if that's a real place outside the TV show).
 

NontradCA

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DOs are not exclusively PCPs.
While this is true, the post is valid. The mission of most, if not all DO schools are focused around primary care and it will be forced on your ears at every opportunity.
 
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Goro

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Agreed. There are overlaps in any applicant pool.


Other than the fact it is data and not hypothetical dismissal of information. The demographics and interconnectivity of the applicant pool are far more complex than most premedical students realize.
This is true, but irrelevant. About a third of DO grads specialize.

While this is true, the post is valid. The mission of most, if not all DO schools are focused around primary care and it will be forced on your ears at every opportunity.
 

Gandyy

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Man I'm gonna have to change my avatar if you keep making posts like this lol
 
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Mad Jack

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Agreed. There are overlaps in any applicant pool.




This is true, but irrelevant. About a third of DO grads specialize.

While this is true, the post is valid. The mission of most, if not all DO schools are focused around primary care and it will be forced on your ears at every opportunity.
When compared with >80% of MDs specializing at many schools, a third is hardly noteworthy of specialization is a person's goal.
 

Goro

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Apples and oranges. My point was that a DO graduate has a very realistic chance of specializing. With an MD, it seems almost mandated!



When compared with >80% of MDs specializing at many schools, a third is hardly noteworthy of specialization is a person's goal.
 
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samac

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Man I'm gonna have to change my avatar if you keep making posts like this lol
I thought it was you at first and as ready to throw out a smack down because I know you know better than this. :rofl:

But on the note of the thread my opinion is that it all boils down to prestige. Many people will only apply MD because they want those letters.
Just the other day I was talking to someone irl and they asked for my opinion about their chances on med school. They told me they wouldn't be taking their MCAT till September (they are prepping) and they had an undergrad GPA of 3.1. I askd if they were applying DO, they told me no they didn't want to be a DO and MD application deadlines were in December so she stood a good chance. I very politely told her about rolling admissions and average GPAs being in the 3.6 range for MD and DOs having a later cycle blah blah blah.
She ended it with "Thanks for all your help, but I really want to try this time! I'm not going to apply DO because it isn't the same, I stand a chance for med school"

And here's a PSA after my rant: Don't tell a DO student that DO schools are bad as you're asking them for advice.
 

Mad Jack

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Apples and oranges. My point was that a DO graduate has a very realistic chance of specializing. With an MD, it seems almost mandated!
I'll just put it this way. We've got a huge surgical club. Like, well over 20+ members. Last year, we had zero general surgery matches, and four specialty surgery matches total. Most of those people end up going into EM, IM, etc at the end of the day. Same goes for many of the other major interest groups- plenty of people want to do derm, or rads, or whatever, but we get one to two matches in each per year out of well over a dozen people. And the remainder end up largely in primary care. This isn't to say that it's impossible to specialize as a DO, merely that many, many of those that would ideally specialize end up in primary care. Asking around, I'd say that 30% or so of my class would prefer primary care, while over 60% end up there. At an MD school, you need to do everything wrong to end up in primary care if you don't want to be there. At a DO school, you often need to do everything right to avoid ending up in it.

I say all of this as a person who's got a strong interest in primary care, mind you. I just know a lot of my classmates will end up sorely disappointed come match day, unless they have some sort of revelation that they wanted to be PCPs all along come third year.
 
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allantois

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As someone who was an SP at an MD school, I can just tell you that each time I am there students are constantly discouraged from primary care. In fact, I heard from faculty physicians (some of whom are former primary care themselves!) remarks such as "PAs and NPs should be providers of primary care; not you guys".
 
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Gandyy

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That doesn't mean much at all. The pool of applicants is so different, that the vast majority of MD applicants would get interviews (and probably accepted) at every DO school they applied to.
Maybe get interviews everywhere. But get accepted everywhere? Bold claim
 
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Mad Jack

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Maybe get interviews everywhere. But get accepted everywhere? Bold claim
If you're a decent applicant, it really isn't. I had acceptances at every single DO interview I attended. I stopped going because I got into my number 1, but I had more IIs and acceptances than I knew what to do with.
 

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I'll just put it this way. We've got a huge surgical club. Like, well over 20+ members. Last year, we had zero general surgery matches, and four specialty surgery matches total. Most of those people end up going into EM, IM, etc at the end of the day. Same goes for many of the other major interest groups- plenty of people want to do derm, or rads, or whatever, but we get one to two matches in each per year out of well over a dozen people. And the remainder end up largely in primary care. This isn't to say that it's impossible to specialize as a DO, merely that many, many of those that would ideally specialize end up in primary care. Asking around, I'd say that 30% or so of my class would prefer primary care, while over 60% end up there. At an MD school, you need to do everything wrong to end up in primary care if you don't want to be there. At a DO school, you often need to do everything right to avoid ending up in it.

I say all of this as a person who's got a strong interest in primary care, mind you. I just know a lot of my classmates will end up sorely disappointed come match day, unless they have some sort of revelation that they wanted to be PCPs all along come third year.
This makes me sad because I heard the same tune from my friend who wants to go into urology who happens to be at a DO school. She said that it's a big uphill battle for her even with competitive step I and II scores.
She entered wanting to go into PCP but realized she loves surgery and can't see herself doing anything else. She loves the DO school that she is at but wishes she worked a little harder to fight for an MD spot. And I know that urology is competitive too even for MD students.

This is what I'm afraid of. I'm pretty certain I want to go into PCP but I'm afraid that what i want now isn't want I want three years from now and have an epiphany that I want to go into an ultra competitive specialty.
 

Spector1

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Not trying to start a flame war or anything- just really curious.

Why do DO schools have lower avg gpa/mcat scores than MD schools? Also, often on the what are my chances threads, some people say others are "lethal" for MD schools, yet competitive for DO schools- is there really that much of a difference in terms of stats? If there is, why?

I know DO schools produce great physicians too- but I just don't get why there is the discrepancy.

Thanks
because the free market.
 

Goro

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I think we're talking past each other. Let's agree on some things:

Surgery is hard to get into, as are the rest of ROADS
Surgery for DOs is much harder to get into (~1.5% of my grads, AOA + ACGME)
The majority of DOs will go into Primary Care
A significant number of DO grads do go into specialties
You have to approach this process eyes open
Competitive specialties are hard for everyone to get into
Competitive specialties are competitive for a reason

FYI, of my students over the past half decade, who went for ACGME, non-PC residencies, ~11 % of these were ROADS, and ~7% ROAD. Make of that what you will.

If you silo applicant pools into, say, high, medium, low-tier MD, and DO, the matriculation rates are 1-3% across the board, and there is always overlap in the pools.

As to the AOA/ACGME merger, all my AOA-well connected DO colleagues are not displaying anywhere near the angst that pre-meds are in this forum. If anything, what I see is an evolution of osteopathy into greater and greater synergy with allopathic medicine, into an actual merger.

Remember, at one time, surgeons were NOT considered physicians, a distinction that still lives on in the name of the medical school run by Columbia!(http://ps.columbia.edu/)
I'll just put it this way. We've got a huge surgical club. Like, well over 20+ members. Last year, we had zero general surgery matches, and four specialty surgery matches total. Most of those people end up going into EM, IM, etc at the end of the day. Same goes for many of the other major interest groups- plenty of people want to do derm, or rads, or whatever, but we get one to two matches in each per year out of well over a dozen people. And the remainder end up largely in primary care. This isn't to say that it's impossible to specialize as a DO, merely that many, many of those that would ideally specialize end up in primary care. Asking around, I'd say that 30% or so of my class would prefer primary care, while over 60% end up there. At an MD school, you need to do everything wrong to end up in primary care if you don't want to be there. At a DO school, you often need to do everything right to avoid ending up in it.

I say all of this as a person who's got a strong interest in primary care, mind you. I just know a lot of my classmates will end up sorely disappointed come match day, unless they have some sort of revelation that they wanted to be PCPs all along come third year.
 

Mad Jack

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I think we're talking past each other. Let's agree on some things:

Surgery is hard to get into, as are the rest of ROADS
Surgery for DOs is much harder to get into (~1.5% of my grads, AOA + ACGME)
The majority of DOs will go into Primary Care
A significant number of DO grads do go into specialties
You have to approach this process eyes open
Competitive specialties are hard for everyone to get into
Competitive specialties are competitive for a reason

FYI, of my students over the past half decade, who went for ACGME, non-PC residencies, ~11 % of these were ROADS, and ~7% ROAD. Make of that what you will.

If you silo applicant pools into, say, high, medium, low-tier MD, and DO, the matriculation rates are 1-3% across the board, and there is always overlap in the pools.

As to the AOA/ACGME merger, all my AOA-well connected DO colleagues are not displaying anywhere near the angst that pre-meds are in this forum. If anything, what I see is an evolution of osteopathy into greater and greater synergy with allopathic medicine, into an actual merger.

Remember, at one time, surgeons were NOT considered physicians, a distinction that still lives on in the name of the medical school run by Columbia!(http://ps.columbia.edu/)
My biggest point was that MDs have both an easier time getting into specialties, and a greater buffer when they fall short of their goals. A DO that fails gunning for a specialty often ends up knocked all the way down to primary care, while an MD often just ends up in another, slightly less competitive specialty. For many DOs it's "I didn't match derm, looks like I'm going to have to go into community IM," while MDs it is "I didn't match derm, looks like I'll just have to do high-tier, university IM followed by a competitive subspecialty." I mean, that's an obvious and gross oversimplification, but the point is, MDs have more options and more buffers in place if they fail to get their residency of choice, as they are well received across most competitive and semi-competitive ACGME programs. A DO often has to build their app so specifically that falling short often results in a fall straight to the bottom. If the DO world is sink or swim, the MD one is boat or raft.
 

Henry101

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dang. this is a depressing thread.
I really like urology too but applying to DO schools too.
 

Mad Jack

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dang. this is a depressing thread.
I really like urology too but applying to DO schools too.
AOA urology programs are looking less and less like many will survive the merger, and the only ACGME urology programs that take DOs with any regulatory are the military ones. Just be aware of that going in.
 
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Goro

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Well, yeah. This is nothing new.

I think this conversation got sidetracked from my comment to NontradCA, who made a point about having PC drummed into students. My argument is simply that specializing is possible, and not at the realm of outliers.

You have helped me add a new question into my interview bank. No, I'm not sharing!

But one thing. Stop making Primary Care seem like the 7th circle of Hell.


My biggest point was that MDs have both an easier time getting into specialties, and a greater buffer when they fall short of their goals. A DO that fails gunning for a specialty often ends up knocked all the way down to primary care, while an MD often just ends up in another, slightly less competitive specialty. For many DOs it's "I didn't match derm, looks like I'm going to have to go into community IM," while MDs it is "I didn't match derm, looks like I'll just have to do high-tier, university IM followed by a competitive subspecialty." I mean, that's an obvious and gross oversimplification, but the point is, MDs have more options and more buffers in place if they fail to get their residency of choice, as they are well received across most competitive and semi-competitive ACGME programs. A DO often has to build their app so specifically that falling short often results in a fall straight to the bottom. If the DO world is sink or swim, the MD one is boat or raft.
 

mcatjelly

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Stop making Primary Care seem like the 7th circle of Hell.
Seriously! Honest to god question: what's with the lack of love for primary care other than the money?
 
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Goro

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Haven't a clue. My Primary Care colleagues love their patients and being Primary Care docs.

Seriously! Honest to god question: what's with the lack of love for primary care other than the money?
 
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Goro

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Mad Jack

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Well, yeah. This is nothing new.

I think this conversation got sidetracked from my comment to NontradCA, who made a point about having PC drummed into students. My argument is simply that specializing is possible, and not at the realm of outliers.

You have helped me add a new question into my interview bank. No, I'm not sharing!

But one thing. Stop making Primary Care seem like the 7th circle of Hell.
It is a fine field, of it's where you want to be. But if you wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon, an outpatient PCP clinic may as well be the 7th circle of hell, especially after all the sacrifices put into medical school and residency.

Like I said, I'm a primary care leaning guy myself. But I can see why a lot of people wouldn't find it appalling.

This is all important stuff that very much factors in to why DO stats are lower than MD stats.
 
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GCS-15

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Lol I wasn't expecting this many responses for my question....but I guess this thread clears up some things for me
 

radkat101

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Not trying to start a flame war or anything- just really curious.

Why do DO schools have lower avg gpa/mcat scores than MD schools? Also, often on the what are my chances threads, some people say others are "lethal" for MD schools, yet competitive for DO schools- is there really that much of a difference in terms of stats? If there is, why?

I know DO schools produce great physicians too- but I just don't get why there is the discrepancy.

Thanks
DO schools have a lot of variability in their stats, and the ones in good locations with solid reputations and good teaching facilities have stats close to or the same as MD schools. They usually have better match lists too. A lot of the new schools opening up perpetuate the idea that DO schools are easier to get into because these schools have such low standards for admission in comparison to schools like PCOM, CCOM, etc.. With all the new DO schools popping up in random places, this stats gap is going to grow even more, and I think students applying to DO schools will really have to take these differences into account more than they do.
 

Mad Jack

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Seriously! Honest to god question: what's with the lack of love for primary care other than the money?
High patient productivity goals that force you to put paperwork before patients, insurance headaches over scraps of cash, not being the one making the big calls or complex diagnoses much of the time, lack of inpatient care in most practices, lack of respect from colleagues, low pay, high debt- I could go on.

Why do I like it? It's a great field if you like variety, and you can even mix it up with hospitalist, ED, and UC shifts. Loving for days, a wide open job market, etc. The pay is decent in the middle of nowhere. The trouble is that for most of this you are going to be outside of traditionally "desirable" areas.
 
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Henry101

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Here's one for ya!
Yup. Here's a post I made on a different thread regarding the same topic.
Surgical subspecialties (Neuro/Ortho/Uro surgery) are hard for everyone. But saying that they are impossible for DOs is disingenuous to recent cycles' Match Lists and the opening of new surgery residency programs nationwide.




Let's take neurosurgery as an example. Some programs have already decided to hold off taking students this cycle (I believe Cooper didn't take a neurosurgery student this cycle). On the other hand, despite the merger, two new AOA Neurosurgery residency programs started this year (Desert Regional in CA and Oakwood in MI). One could reasonably assume that these two programs knew about the merger and that they are ready to "meet" the "standards" the ACGME will ask of them.

[Meanwhile, I also believe it is germane to state that the Neurosurgery program at Ceders Sinai, also in Southern California, is likely to close down in the next year, thus increasing applicants to the CA program. I also believe it's germane to say that Desert Regional is in UC Riverside's immediate backyard and, despite this, the hospital decided to start the AOA residency program instead of partnering with UCR's new medical school. This is probably because Desert Regional used to be a rotating site for Arrowhead's neurosurgery program, the largest AOA neurosurgery residency program in the country.]

My general idea, with my limited knowledge/understanding, is that some programs will close but the new programs will replace those seats with stronger programs and not much will change in the long run except wider recognition of the DO degree.
Just my 2 cents.
If my understanding is wrong or you know something to the contrary, please feel free to correct me.
 
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allantois

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The best resident I've worked with during my observership was a DO doing surgical prelim for his IR residency. Guy is a beast
And this affects my claim that people want to give themselves the best chance at specializing, how?
 

UNMedGa

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I think it mostly has to do with the MD predating the DO degree, such that an MD is what people think of when they think of "doctors." Thus, the MD often becomes the object of striving without much of a knowledge of the DO degree in the first place. Add this to the fact that many MD schools have more research, resources and connections and they become more attractive especially for go-getters. However, DO schools have become more competitive in recent years.
 
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