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With combined residencies and Step 1 P/F is DO still viable?

Californiacation

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I was previously a pretty strong DO advocate but now I'm afraid that the combined residency merger with Step 1 moving to P/F will severely impact DO applicants. Generally, MD's do better in the match and I'm enterring a DO school that is well ranked with traditionally >95% of the class matching but now I'm afraid for the future. My school does not have a dedicated residency program. Is it worth it to reapply and try to get into an MD? I'm looking at my student loan sheet at my future $240k debt and getting depressed about it. Does anyone have optimism about this? Supply/Demand of combined residency merger only harms DO's since now MD's can apply both.
 

Mr_Irrelevant

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I was previously a pretty strong DO advocate but now I'm afraid that the combined residency merger with Step 1 moving to P/F will severely impact DO applicants. Generally, MD's do better in the match and I'm enterring a DO school that is well ranked with traditionally >95% of the class matching but now I'm afraid for the future. My school does not have a dedicated residency program. Is it worth it to reapply and try to get into an MD? I'm looking at my student loan sheet at my future $240k debt and getting depressed about it. Does anyone have optimism about this? Supply/Demand of combined residency merger only harms DO's since now MD's can apply both.
The results of the 2020 match (first match of the MD/DO merger) say otherwise as far as your last sentence is concerned. It is impossible to know how P/F STEP will affect DOs until we are applying in 4 years. Unless you are ONLY interested in uber competitive specialties (derm, optho, ortho), I would continue with you DO acceptance with a positive attitude and focus on becoming the best physician you can be, as that is what will take you further in your career rather than the letters behind your name.
 
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zNoodlez

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I was previously a pretty strong DO advocate but now I'm afraid that the combined residency merger with Step 1 moving to P/F will severely impact DO applicants. Generally, MD's do better in the match and I'm enterring a DO school that is well ranked with traditionally >95% of the class matching but now I'm afraid for the future. My school does not have a dedicated residency program. Is it worth it to reapply and try to get into an MD? I'm looking at my student loan sheet at my future $240k debt and getting depressed about it. Does anyone have optimism about this? Supply/Demand of combined residency merger only harms DO's since now MD's can apply both.
Valid concerns as I do have them as well. What are your stats?
 
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Californiacation

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The results of the 2020 match (first match of the MD/DO merger) say otherwise as far as your last sentence is concerned. It is impossible to know how P/F STEP will affect DOs until we are applying in 4 years. Unless you are ONLY interested in uber competitive specialties (derm, optho, ortho), I would continue with you DO acceptance with a positive attitude and focus on becoming the best physician you can be, as that is what will take you further in your career rather than the letters behind your name.

I thought that the 2021 match is the first after combined?
 

DO2015CA

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What are your aspirations. It’s okay to want ENT, optho, etc. but if you are okay with landing in less competitive specialties then it’s business as usual
 
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harrislakers123

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Care to elaborate on the opened opportunities?

Before highly competitive students would often self select out of MD match and go DO match to be safe. Now you can apply to everything at once, with one app.
Before if you matched DO program you would get pulled from MD match. The two matches were on completely seperate timeLines.
Soon we will see the fruit of single accreditation at the fellowship level as all DOs will be ACGME trained
 
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Ho0v-man

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I would apply both MD/DO now and take the best acceptance you get. Don’t waste a year
I just realized OP has already been accepted. So that complicates things. If you can’t defer a year I’d just go now. But it’s worth wasting a year to avoid the nonsense of DO school imo and OPs MCAT is really good.
 

harrislakers123

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I just realized OP has already been accepted. So that complicates things. If you can’t defer a year I’d just go now. But it’s worth wasting a year to avoid the nonsense of DO school imo and OPs MCAT is really good.

Respectfully disagree, you never want to turn down an acceptance. Losing a year is 250-300k of earnings lost.
Nearly 50% of DOs go into specialties.
 
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zNoodlez

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I just realized OP has already been accepted. So that complicates things. If you can’t defer a year I’d just go now. But it’s worth wasting a year to avoid the nonsense of DO school imo and OPs MCAT is really good.
That 3.0 GPA will definitely need SMP, and that MCAT is definitely not high enough to save the low GPA imo, so we are looking at at least 1.5 years before OP can reapply.
 

Ho0v-man

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That 3.0 GPA will definitely need SMP, and that MCAT is definitely not high enough to save the low GPA imo, so we are looking at at least 1.5 years before OP can reapply.
in my initial post, I didn’t realize OP had already been accepted. If he/she was about to apply, I’d recommend SMP/low tier MD.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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One thing you didn't realize OP is that with the merger things are turning out better for DO than expected. Also, most of the doubts that were previously cast upon the merger have been debunked by this years match. One more thing about the merger, the AOA and AACOM are also both occupying a big chunk of the ACGME voting board now. What will possibly hurt DOs the most in the future is the fast rate growing of new schools/grads, but not the merger. For now, I'd say DO is still a viable route. Emergency medicine and Anesthesia are both very DO friendly, and as long you don't change your mind later for something more competitive (derm, orhto, Nsurg, ENT, plastic, IR), you should be fine.
 

DrStephenStrange

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Is DR still attainable for DOs without a scored STEP 1? I see current DO resident in some great programs across the US, but this seems to be a field with pretty high average step scores.
Based on the numbers, 66% of DO seniors that applied for a PGY2 spot got it. I'd say still doable with the right app, but still competitive.
 
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Californiacation

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One thing you didn't realize OP is that with the merger things are turning out better for DO than expected. Also, most of the doubts that were previously cast upon the merger have been debunked by this years match. One more thing about the merger, the AOA and AACOM are also both occupying a big chunk of the ACGME voting board now. What will possibly hurt DOs the most in the future is the fast rate growing of new schools/grads, but not the merger. For now, I'd say DO is still a viable route. Emergency medicine and Anesthesia are both very DO friendly, and as long you don't change your mind later for something more competitive (derm, orhto, Nsurg, ENT, plastic, IR), you should be fine.

Thanks to you and everyone else.. I needed some optimism about this. I plan to continue with my DO school (which starts in two months). I'd imagine the most competitive specialty that is realistically attainable for DO students is General Surgery. But yea, it seems like DO's need to forget about Derm, Ortho, Neurosurgery, ENT and opthomology.
 
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Tgfu34

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Just my opinion but I still think DO is definitely viable even with the Step 1 going P/F. As far as primary care specialties, those will always be available to DO students. GS residencies and well-known programs in other PC fields will be tougher to navigate. The importance of standardized tests will just shift from the Step 1 to Step 2 score and more of an emphasis will be placed on audition rotations, publications/presentations, and, most importantly, earlier establishment of mentors in the field you desire. The earlier you find a mentor (preferably a DO) in your field, the more connections that you can make along the way and the better story they can tell about you when you'll need someone to go to bat for you when you apply to residency. It's unfortunate that it will become more of a "who do you know" situation but that's the hand we're dealt. All you can do is bust your butt, destroy boards and audition rotations, network with people in your field and hope luck is on your side.
 
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harrislakers123

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Thanks to you and everyone else.. I needed some optimism about this. I plan to continue with my DO school (which starts in two months). I'd imagine the most competitive specialty that is realistically attainable for DO students is General Surgery. But yea, it seems like DO's need to forget about Derm, Ortho, Neurosurgery, ENT and opthomology.

No they don’t. There are still 7 ophtho DO programs and a similar amount for ENT. There are like 30+ Derm and Ortho DO programs.
Then there are tens of programs in all of those fields that currently have or have taken DOs.
Lastly, every year a DO matches in a new MD program in those fields. They are hard for anyone to match into.
This mentality needs to be purged from SDN. Nearly 50% of DOs go into specialties.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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No they don’t. There are still 7 ophtho DO programs and a similar amount for ENT. There are like 30+ Derm and Ortho DO programs.
Then there are tens of programs in all of those fields that currently have or have taken DOs.
Lastly, every year a DO matches in a new MD program in those fields. They are hard for anyone to match into.
This mentality needs to be purged from SDN. Nearly 50% of DOs go into specialties.
I know you got ophtho this year, and I'd like to say congrats about that, but these specialties are still extremely difficult to match as a DO (compared to MD) without killer board scores, great connections, being top of your class, killer clinical grades, and auditioning hard for those spots. Which is why I would advise someone to go MD if they want those specialties, not that it is impossible coming from a DO school, it's just extra extra hard. Would you like to share any particular thing you did to be able to match into such a competitive spot? I admire you for showing us that it is still possible for DOs by the way, and advocating for us at many levels. Thanks for that.
 
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harrislakers123

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I know you got ophtho this year, and I'd like to say congrats about that, but these specialties are still extremely difficult to match as a DO (compared to MD) without killer board scores, great connections, being top of your class, killer clinical grades, and auditioning hard for those spots. Which is why I would advise someone to go MD if they want those specialties, not that it is impossible coming from a DO school, it's just extra extra hard. Would you like to share any particular thing you did to be able to match into such a competitive spot? I admire you for showing us that it is still possible for DOs by the way, and advocating for us at many levels. Thanks for that.
I agree with all of those things (scores, research, grades, aways) but those things hold true for MDs too. MDs need scores research grades and killer LORs as well to match in to these fields.
It is definitely harder to build research and connections as a DO if you are trying to get into historically MD programs so you are right about that too.
These specialties are insanely competitive to match into regardless if you are applying to historically DO or MD programs.
But DOs have access to a very large and strong pool of former DO programs that are all ACGME now, the majority of these programs favor DOs. There is an abundance of Derm, Ortho, etc. programs and many other opportunities outside of historically DO programs for DOs to obtain. Nearly 50% of DOs go into specialties.
Thank you for your kind words! I honestly believe the difference for me was refusing to buy in or listen to negativity or self select myself out of places or programs (In addition to securing the variables you mentioned)
 
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builderstorch

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I agree with all of those things (scores, research, grades, aways) but those things hold true for MDs too. MDs need scores research grades and killer LORs as well to match in to these fields.
It is definitely harder to build research and connections as a DO if you are trying to get into historically MD programs so you are right about that too.
These specialties are insanely competitive to match into regardless if you are applying to historically DO or MD programs.
But DOs have access to a very large and strong pool of former DO programs that are all ACGME now, the majority of these programs favor DOs. There is an abundance of Derm, Ortho, etc. programs and many other opportunities outside of historically DO programs for DOs to obtain. Nearly 50% of DOs go into specialties.
Thank you for your kind words! I honestly believe the difference for me was refusing to buy in or listen to negativity or self select myself out of places or programs (In addition to securing the variables you mentioned)
You’re the best. Congratulations on matching. I have similar competitive specialty goals going into a DO program this year and you’ve inspired me.
 
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A

AnatomyGrey12

Is DR still attainable for DOs without a scored STEP 1? I see current DO resident in some great programs across the US, but this seems to be a field with pretty high average step scores.

Yes. Everything will just shift to Step 2.
I'd imagine the most competitive specialty that is realistically attainable for DO students is General Surgery. But yea, it seems like DO's need to forget about Derm, Ortho, Neurosurgery, ENT and opthomology.

Neurosurgery and ophtho are by far the hardest for DOs. There are over a 100 DOs that match ortho every year, so it’s probably the most “doable” elitely competitive specialty for DO students (still need to be an elite applicant). For some reason there are always a sneaky decent amount of Derm matches out of DO schools too, like 30+ every year once you include the DO programs.
No they don’t. There are still 7 ophtho DO programs and a similar amount for ENT. There are like 30+ Derm and Ortho DO programs.
Then there are tens of programs in all of those fields that currently have or have taken DOs.
Lastly, every year a DO matches in a new MD program in those fields. They are hard for anyone to match into.
This mentality needs to be purged from SDN. Nearly 50% of DOs go into specialties.
I agree with all of those things (scores, research, grades, aways) but those things hold true for MDs too. MDs need scores research grades and killer LORs as well to match in to these fields.
It is definitely harder to build research and connections as a DO if you are trying to get into historically MD programs so you are right about that too.
These specialties are insanely competitive to match into regardless if you are applying to historically DO or MD programs.

Congrats on your match, but the numbers to ophtho say otherwise. Ophtho has some of the worst match stats of any field only behind neurosurgery.

As an MD if you get past a certain threshold your match chances go to 90%+, even in the most competitive specialties. As a DO your app can be literally perfect and still have match chances barely above 50%.

Obviously not impossible, but “these specialties are hard MD or DO” doesn’t really give a picture of reality.
 
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