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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Nikkiwit, Jan 26, 2000.

  1. Nikkiwit

    Nikkiwit New Member

    Jan 25, 2000
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    I am a junior and have a pre-health committee interview coming up at my university. How do I respond to the question, "Why do I want to become an MD rather than a DO?" I have always heard that DOs are looked down upon by MDs since it's an easier program to get into and since only certain hospitals are affiliated with DOs. In fact, my internist (a MD) replied to my question, "because you have a brain in your head!"
    All of my observations and volunteer work including my personal doctors are all MDs. Is it sufficient to just tell the committee I want MD because that's what I've spent all my time with. I do agree with the DO philosophy of treating the whole person, but may MDs use that same philosophy (my internist does). How do I answer this question? I don't want to become a DO. How do I justify wanting to become a MD?
    Thanks for your help!
  2. Mayqswet

    Mayqswet Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 1999
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    In order for you to formulate an opinion on something, you must first learn about it. It makes for a very weak argument if you tell me you don't want to do something, just because you don't know anything about it.

    My advice to you is to go to the Am Osteopathic Assoc web site and read up on what exactly a DO is and does; and, how they are different AND similar to an MD. Also, look in the yellow pages, find a DO and ask them if you can spend a few hours with them.

    That way when you do make your case you can do it from a stance of "I know what allopathic medicine is, I know what osteopathic medicine is, I know the similarities, I know the differences and I chose allopathic medicine. Otherwise, you will be merely repeating words from people that may or may not have an updated, realistic knowledge of osteopathic medicine.

    If you're interested, I will be glad to forward some articles outlining the 2 branches of medicine. I have just gone through the process of deciding where to go to medical school and have a lot of the this information at hand.

    Getting into DO school is a little easier. The average GPA of incoming students is around 3.3 or 3.4 vs around 3.6 at MD schools. The average MCAT scores are around 26 vs around 29 or 30 at MD schools. In terms of non-numerical qualities, DO schools factor in life experience and good communication skills a little more than MD schools. But remember, exceptions are common and these are only generalizations.

    Good luck

    [email protected]
  3. reed0104

    reed0104 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 1999
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    Why not D.O.? It doesn't seem like you know yourself. I would just answer the question to yourself first, then just be honest with the adcomm. When you come up with an answer, please post it, I'm curious.

    Good luck to you! I hope you get in!


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  4. ana


    There is so litttle difference between DOs and MDs these days, that it scarecely matters. Frankly, if you could find a polite and respectful way to say this to anyone who asks, it would be the most intelligent response you could give. Yes, they do learn OMT in school. However, I know several DOs, and not a single one of them uses OMT on the majority of their patients. Most of them use the standard of care that an allopathic physician would employ.

    As for the famed emphasis on primary care, the Calif med schools are graduating 55-60% of their graduates into a primary care specialty. The trend is similar for the top medical schools in the country. This is an increase from the previous 30%. Recent figures for osteopathic schools show an increasing percentage choosing specialties as it becomes more recognized by residency directors that they are just as qualified as their allopathic counterparts.

    DO schools used to have student bodies with MCATs and GPAs that were embarassingly low. That is not true anymore -- many of the scores are now very much in line with allopathic schools ranked in the lower third of the bunch (yes, this includes several U.S. schools).

    As for the holistic approach (treating the "whole person,"), that has pretty much become the mantra at most allopathic schools as well and has been for several years.

    Go visit and interview at as many schools as feasible. Then choose the one that best fits your need, allopathic or osteopathic. Of course, if you interview at an osteopathic school, learn all you can about their history and OMT -- they are awfully proud of it, and you will not do well if you are not fully conversant on these topics.

    Good luck. Hope you dreams come true!
  5. Future DOc

    Future DOc Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 1999
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    Nikkiwit....some of the things that have been said here are great points. Take note of that.

    I don't mean to be critical, but please do more research for yourself when deciding to enter the field of medicine....esp DO. It is very obvious that you have no clue what osteopathy is. Did you ever shadow a DO? Do you even believe that DOs are real doctors? If in your heart, if you really want to become an MD, don' waste your time applying to a DO school because you will only be very unhappy. Unhappy in a sense that you didn't do your homework investigating all facets of medicine (Md or DO) because its very careless to pursue something when you don't know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Its almost like someone saying, "I want to be a Pediatrician because I like kids". There's more in becoming a Pediatrician like that. How do you feel if a cute child is severely ill? or is diagnosed with leukemia? etc...A lot of homework needs to be done.

    Leave the slot for other people who ONLY want to become true DOs & nothing else. Noone wants "MD wannabes" because they will just be a burden at DO schools for always whinning about wanting the MD title instead of the DO title.

    You said that MDs look down on DOs but there are DOs in very many competitive allopathic programs ranging from Harvard to USC. That should tell you that its not the degree but who you are that will get you to where you want to be.

    If you are dead set that being a DO is not for you (even after heavy investigating) please don't pursue it becuase you will be depressed. I was accepted to both MD & DO but I chose the DO route because it was my fit & I wanted to learn about OMT. I am very happy with my choice & I don't regret it at all. I personally think DOs offer a lot more to the table for patients than MDs, but thats just my opinion.

    I have yet to see my collegues experience that so-called "DO stigma" considering that a lot of them get accepted into very competitive ACGME programs here in southern cali.

    All the talk about DOs are looked down upon, or DOs have a hard time here & there are usually posted by either ignorant pre-meds or insecure matriculated or 1st yr medical students. Please don't get me wrong but isn't it funny how NONE of the upperclassmen (3rd or 4th yrs) or interns/residents reply like that on these boards. WHY? because they really know what its like in the real world as a young doctor trying to make it. Try asking some of them & hear what they have to say. They are the ones you should take advice from..not someone who hasn't even been through medical school yet.

    If you decide to go DO, go at it with full force w/out looking back. You will be amazed at what the profession brings into the medical profession. If you only want to be a MD, thats the only profession you should apply too. Good luck to you!!!!

    WesternU/COMP Class of 2002
  6. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2000
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    Nice ride!
  7. Lennox

    Lennox Member
    10+ Year Member

    Dec 10, 1999
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    Sounds to me like you place a great deal of emphasis on what your internist says. Perhaps you ought to reconsider; he may be a bit old-school and remember the early days of osteopathy a bit too vividly. The point is that, although it is more difficult to get into the more competitve residencies (because those people who award them are usually MDs, old-school and narrow-minded) you will be well trained as DO, fully capable to entering any residency that an MD can pursue, with one glaring exception: they can't go into OMM.

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