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RySerr21

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I have been interested in osteopathic medicine for a year or two now...i've done my far share to learn more about the profession and all of its pros and cons. I've shadowed docs, visited schools, sat in on OMM classes, etc. The point is, I will be applying to DO no matter what, and am excited for the possibility to be one.

On the other hand, I am thinking of applying to MD schools as well. I have a competitive GPA, interesting ECs, and I should have some great LORs too. Here is my problem.....i can not see myself breaking out of the 25-28 range on the MCAT. I dread everything about this test and when i study it seems useless because I don't retain anything. When I take practice section tests, my PS score is god awful..sometimes i get so upset b/c i know i've missed so many questions that i just dont finish the section. My BS is okay (8-10 range) and my VR fluctuates between 9-11, but with my projected PS score.... i dont see myself getting very high overall.

I will be taking the MCAT on May 27th but plan to have ACOMAS/AMCAS apps done by early June before I get my scores. My question is, is it even worth applying to MD Programs??? Keep in mind I am also a California resident....the MD schools in Cali aren't exactly cake to get into.

I would be perfectly happy (even ecstatic) to be at a DO school. If i'm not feeling confident about my MCAT by the time AMCAS is due...should I even apply to MD or just stick with DO?
 

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Fill out the AMCAS, get your transcripts sent in, and wait until you get your scores back before you designate any schools. You may have to designate one and pay before they will start verifying everything, so just pick one, and then add more later if you decide to pursue it.
 

RySerr21

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Fill out the AMCAS, get your transcripts sent in, and wait until you get your scores back before you designate any schools. You may have to designate one and pay before they will start verifying everything, so just pick one, and then add more later if you decide to pursue it.

EDIT: when i read your post i somehow skipped the sentence that answered my question...so i deleted it. whoops. haha.
 
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I have been interested in osteopathic medicine for a year or two now...i've done my far share to learn more about the profession and all of its pros and cons. I've shadowed docs, visited schools, sat in on OMM classes, etc. The point is, I will be applying to DO no matter what, and am excited for the possibility to be one.

On the other hand, I am thinking of applying to MD schools as well. I have a competitive GPA, interesting ECs, and I should have some great LORs too. Here is my problem.....i can not see myself breaking out of the 25-28 range on the MCAT. I dread everything about this test and when i study it seems useless because I don't retain anything. When I take practice section tests, my PS score is god awful..sometimes i get so upset b/c i know i've missed so many questions that i just dont finish the section. My BS is okay (8-10 range) and my VR fluctuates between 9-11, but with my projected PS score.... i dont see myself getting very high overall.

I will be taking the MCAT on May 27th but plan to have ACOMAS/AMCAS apps done by early June before I get my scores. My question is, is it even worth applying to MD Programs??? Keep in mind I am also a California resident....the MD schools in Cali aren't exactly cake to get into.

I would be perfectly happy (even ecstatic) to be at a DO school. If i'm not feeling confident about my MCAT by the time AMCAS is due...should I even apply to MD or just stick with DO?

I agree with Tex. Also, if you hit that 28 with a competitive/high GPA you'll match to at least one or two allo schools (if you apply broadly). I consider myself a veteran of the app process, spending years and years in denial :)D) and on waitlists. Don't let yourself be fooled, the competition is fierce and if your GPA isn't where it needs to be, if you're a non-trad, or if your MCAT isn't at least a 28 - apply very broadly. Don't worry about the "flavor" of the med school or hype in the least (talk to the physicians you shadow). Do look at the curriculum, clinical rotations, and the setting. Just my 2.
 

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I agree with Tex. Also, stop whining about the MCAT. Chin up. Attack Physical sciences and physical sciences like becoming a doctor depended on it. PS was my nemesis as well, and studying and studying it over and over again eventually raised my score. I guarantee you can learn that ****.
 

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If you are interested in DO then don't waste your time and money applying to MD programs. It is easier to gain admission to a great osteo school then a great allo school. I am only going on the personal experience that I had. Best of luck
 

RySerr21

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he's dead set on ortho though

quite a memory.

so ive always heard about the rough road getting into MD residencies for ortho.....but whats the deal with DO residencies? i'm not sure of the criteria for a "good" residency...but i'm sure there are good DO ortho residencies....right?

edit: as far as maximizing my chances...how much do i hurt them by going DO assuming it doesnt matter if i go DO or MD residency. not sure if there is an actualy answer to that question that anyone woud know.
 

RySerr21

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If you are interested in DO then don't waste your time and money applying to MD programs. It is easier to gain admission to a great osteo school then a great allo school. I am only going on the personal experience that I had. Best of luck

true, but i have this internal struggle about ortho....if given the opportunity to go MD and DO....do i go MD to "maximize" my chances of matching MD residency? or do I go DO knowing that I will be happy and content, learning OMM and still have the opportunity to do ortho. whether it be through an MD residency or DO residency.


and what if i don't even go into ortho?? i realize that is a possibility. if that happens, will I wish I had gone DO?? too many questions.
 

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I think its awesome you are interested in ortho. I myself hope to be in peds... and goodness knows the peds doc I work with refers a good amount of patients to ortho! (sports injuries, scolios, genetic abnormalities, etc)

But, I think you are getting a little ahead of yourself.

The application process alone is long and strenuous... I would recommend spending the bulk of your time on your personal statement, physical sciences for the MCAT -- awful section!:), and your courses (assuming you are still in undergrad), than thinking about "good" ortho residencies.

From my pre-med standpoint-- I would suggest focusing on the nearest/closest future tasks... and let the rest fall in place as time continues. Plus, any ortho residency will make you an ortho doc. You might not be working at the "whatever is the #1 med center in the country" but who cares. If you enjoy surgery & bones... you should be able to be happy anywhere.

If you want to apply both MD and DO... do it (the AMCAS is only a couple hundred). Have no regrets. Jump into the MCAT as if you'll get a 40... if you don't, you can make adjustments then.

Just to echo what others have said: no matter scores & accomplishments... apply broadly :) (you've already got the "early" part down!)
 
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do i go MD to "maximize" my chances of matching MD residency? or do I go DO knowing that I will be happy and content, learning OMM and still have the opportunity to do ortho. whether it be through an MD residency or DO residency.....

I don't know that I've ever seen a school's matchlist, DO or MD, that didn't have at least someone going into ortho. So, any school you go to will give you a chance. What you need to do is just find a school where you will excel. The way to get into ortho is to have good grades, good board scores and good recommendations. You can't get any of those until you get into medical school. Get into school first....then worry about being the best you can be. If you can do that, then you have a shot at ortho.
 

TexasTriathlete

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I don't know that I've ever seen a school's matchlist, DO or MD, that didn't have at least someone going into ortho. So, any school you go to will give you a chance. What you need to do is just find a school where you will excel. The way to get into ortho is to have good grades, good board scores and good recommendations. You can't get any of those until you get into medical school. Get into school first....then worry about being the best you can be. If you can do that, then you have a shot at ortho.
That's true, but if you go to an MD school, you don't have to do anything, and you will automatically have your choice of ortho, derm, rads, neurosurgery, and gas programs. They will send exotic call girls to your house and shower you with gifts, in an effort to entice you to come train at their program. A buddy of mine is MS-II at UT-San Antonio, he hasn't even taken Step 1 yet, and he is getting recruiting letters from every competitive specialty program in the country. Its like the movie "Blue Chips". Its only a matter of time before Nick Nolte shows up at his door with a tractor.

The competition will be stiff for his services.
 

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Plenty of DO's in ortho.

Well, it depends on where you want to do your ortho residency. I think it is going to be much easier to attain an osteopathic ortho residency than an allopathic one. Recently, I was talking with some PD's and I caught them suggesting that it is pretty damn unlikely for a DO to match into an allopathic ortho residency, although it does happen from time to time. These PD's, I believe, were DO's, by the way.

Just so you know what you are up against... But times change and so do these sort of things...
 

RySerr21

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I don't know that I've ever seen a school's matchlist, DO or MD, that didn't have at least someone going into ortho. So, any school you go to will give you a chance. What you need to do is just find a school where you will excel. The way to get into ortho is to have good grades, good board scores and good recommendations. You can't get any of those until you get into medical school. Get into school first....then worry about being the best you can be. If you can do that, then you have a shot at ortho.

sounds like good advice, and i totally agree. this thread wasn't even about ortho....it was about me worrying about getting in to med school, so I think I am following your logical flow chart of things to worry about ;). the thread got transformed to ortho along the way.
 

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sounds like good advice, and i totally agree. this thread wasn't even about ortho....it was about me worrying about getting in to med school, so I think I am following your logical flow chart of things to worry about ;). the thread got transformed to ortho along the way.

In theory, scpod is right, but if you talk to some residency program directors, they will lead you to believe that it is pretty impossible to attain an allopathic ortho residency as a DO. It does happen, but not at all frequently. Once in half a blue moon maybe, if you are a completely superior applicant.

If your goal is to become an orthopod who is trained through an allopathic residency, then it would behoove you to try for an allopathic medical school. That's just common sense. That being said, if you are going to be content with an osteopathic ortho residency and perhaps other specialties, then an osteopathic medical school could be a good choice.
 

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Well, it depends on where you want to do your ortho residency. I think it is going to be much easier to attain an osteopathic ortho residency than an allopathic one. Recently, I was talking with some PD's and I caught them suggesting that it is pretty damn unlikely for a DO to match into an allopathic ortho residency, although it does happen from time to time. These PD's, I believe, were DO's, by the way.

Just so you know what you are up against... But times change and so do these sort of things...

Agreed...getting into any specialty-surgery program ACGME is possible-though-improbable for a DO. I guess my point would be there's nothing wrong with DO ortho residencies...I can't imagine that there's such a thing as a "bad" ortho residency.

The way an attending MD at my job put it is this: it depends on your career goals. It's obviously very improbable that you'll become an attending academic ortho surgeon at a prestigious university hospital out of a DO residency program, which tend to be smaller, community type hospitals. Similarly, she equated it to coming out of college or an MBA program--yes, everybody gets a job coming out of school, but your more prestigious programs are more actively recruited and sought after out of school (/residency).

You're right though--you need to be focusing on this year and enjoy worries like these if/when it's time to have them...you have a PS section to be working on, do you not?! :)

Oh...and if you come into DO school...from what I've heard you'll be competing with people just like you who eat sleep and breathe matching into ortho.
 

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I don't know that I've ever seen a school's matchlist, DO or MD, that didn't have at least someone going into ortho. So, any school you go to will give you a chance. What you need to do is just find a school where you will excel. The way to get into ortho is to have good grades, good board scores and good recommendations. You can't get any of those until you get into medical school. Get into school first....then worry about being the best you can be. If you can do that, then you have a shot at ortho.


you think your signature is big enough?
 

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....It does happen, but not at all frequently. Once in half a blue moon maybe, if you are a completely superior applicant...

1 of the 4 who matched ortho in my school's first class this year got allopathic ortho.... so it happens. But, it's a moot point if you don't get into med school. And still a moot point if you aren't a top student in your med school class. Less than 0.0007% of the people in the US are orthopaedic surgeons, so I'd still call it an accomplishment-- no matter where you ended up.

you think your signature is big enough?

No, but I thought I'd slowly increase it day by day until it is.
 

RySerr21

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1 of the 4 who matched ortho in my school's first class this year got allopathic ortho.... so it happens. But, it's a moot point if you don't get into med school. And still a moot point if you aren't a top student in your med school class. Less than 0.0007% of the people in the US are orthopaedic surgeons, so I'd still call it an accomplishment-- no matter where you ended up.



No, but I thought I'd slowly increase it day by day until it is.

.0007%...wow. just out of curiousity......do people trying for ortho generally have some other specialty on their list to match as a back up just in case they dont get in? what if all the residencies on your list are ortho and you dont match, DO or MD.
 

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..do people trying for ortho generally have some other specialty on their list to match as a back up just in case they dont get in? what if all the residencies on your list are ortho and you dont match, DO or MD.

Hopefully, by that time you have a better idea of how well you stack up to the other competition. If you had a lot of interviews at good programs....well, you're bound to get in somewhere. If you had one interview at a mediocre program....you might wanna have a backup plan. But, some people never get the idea. One of our deans was telling us about a forth-year student who really wanted neurosurgery. Unfortunately, she had to take step one and two twice just to pass and had around a C average in school. She was still doing neurosugery rotations late in fourth year and hoping for the best. I have no idea if she even got any interviews...but I doubt it.

There are other things you could do if you don't make it. You can do sports medicine fellowships with a couple of different residencies. That might work for some people. I just don't know. That's what 3rd and 4th year ought to really help you with-- deciding if you can live with something else.
 

RySerr21

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There are other things you could do if you don't make it. You can do sports medicine fellowships with a couple of different residencies. That might work for some people. I just don't know. That's what 3rd and 4th year ought to really help you with-- deciding if you can live with something else.

yea totally. ive explored other options into sports medicine.....i shadowed a doc who was in his fellowship for sports medicine after a family practice residency. it was a really cool experience b/c he actually used OMM on his patients so i got to see it in a setting that is similar to what i hope to be in. it was very cool.

thanks for the info everyone....even if it did get side tracked onto ortho :laugh:
 

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As tex said, fill out the stuff and then wait and see. Barring a catastrophic MCAT, I intend to just apply everywhere I wouldn't mind and feel I stand a fair shot. Keep in mind, I'm not too selective of locale. As long as they have a music store, a walmart/kmart, a movie theatre and maybe a bar or two I am content.
 

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People should be optimistic, DO's will have better and more opportunities in the future all the stereotypes are based on the past when DO's were as familiar as the closest star to our sun. In all seriousness, i see more DO orthopedic guys and more DO's going to specialties rather than primary care. The majority might still go into primary care but its not going to be a landslide by any means..you have to realize the students accepted at DO schools are selected carefully to ensure the majority are aiming to be in primary care so by default you will see most of your classmates choosing primary care which is great for our communities but those who do want to specialize will find better opportunities count on that..infact in big cities like philly, ny, chicago DO's are pretty well known to the avg guy and this trend will continue.
 

RySerr21

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I'm not being optimistic or pessimistic. I just think one should apply to the schools that they have an interest in. People tend to succeed where they are happiest.

this is true. i guess i should just think of my own expereinces when choosing undergrad.... i ended up choosing a small liberal arts college over USC..... most people haven't even heard of my school, so their reaction is "you did whaaaaaat!? why would you ever do that?!?" it came down to the fact that it just felt right... i knew i woudl be happy

looking back, its one of the best decisions I have made. i have thoroughly enjoyed my time at my present school, met some great friends and mentors and would make the same decision again if i could go back in time knowing what I know now.


i guess i should prepare myself to make the same kind of decision with DO/MD.....most people will question your sanity if you tell them you chose to go DO over MD...but that is their problem right? as long as I am happy and am doing what i do best....it will be okay. i will just find the school I am happiest at..if it happens to be MD...then great...if its a DO program....then thats equally as great.
 

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this is true. i guess i should just think of my own expereinces when choosing undergrad.... i ended up choosing a small liberal arts college over USC..... most people haven't even heard of my school, so their reaction is "you did whaaaaaat!? why would you ever do that?!?" it came down to the fact that it just felt right... i knew i woudl be happy

looking back, its one of the best decisions I have made. i have thoroughly enjoyed my time at my present school, met some great friends and mentors and would make the same decision again if i could go back in time knowing what I know now.


i guess i should prepare myself to make the same kind of decision with DO/MD.....most people will question your sanity if you tell them you chose to go DO over MD...but that is their problem right? as long as I am happy and am doing what i do best....it will be okay. i will just find the school I am happiest at..if it happens to be MD...then great...if its a DO program....then thats equally as great.

I agree mostly with what you wrote, and it sounds like a pretty good plan. However, I'd like to state that it is my opinion, and opinions will vary, that choosing a medical school is a bit different than choosing an undergraduate college. It's true that attending where you feel most at home and alive is a good thing and preferable, in both cases. After all, the enviroment where you are choosing to spend the next 2 years is going to pretty influential, whether you can put it into concrete terms or not. However, I think you should also consider what program is going to make you the strongest candidate, i.e., prepare you the best, for residency. This aspect makes choosing a medical school different than choosing an ungraduate institution. There are lots of potential criteria that could be viewed and compared when you think of evaluating the strength of a program, without respect to degree type (MD/DO). Of course, your goals also play into selection.

My suggestion would be to carefully evaluate all the programs you are thinking of making application, paying close attention to the elements that you find important, making sure to include clinical elements, such as 3rd and 4th year rotations, connections to academic hospitals, etc. You may not see it now, but these elements are very important to your success. Of course what you do and the effort you put forth is more important than anything else, but it would be of great benefit to have the best set up for success possible and this includes choosing a strong program. Most programs are more similar than different and attending any medical school in the US will almost certainly guarantee that you will become a physician. Dig a little deeper and you'll find the stand out differences. Your task is to not only choose the one that fits you the best, but also one that help you become the best physician that you can be.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Take it or leave it...
 
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