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Would DO be a better fit?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by ahc336, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. ahc336

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    Hi, I'm writing today to just get some general info. I haven't committed to pursuing medicine yet, but am starting to shadow and what not to see if the field will be a fit. Been lurking on SDN for a healthy amount of time.

    Would pursuing a DO be easier for a weaker science student than MD? I'm looking to specialize (EM or ob/gyn), but am also open to primary care. From what I gather from SDN and the web, DOs are kind of viewed as underdogs and mostly do primary care. Feel free to correct me.

    I apologize for writing a lot, and look forward to your answers!

    A
     
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  3. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    The science that you are required to know at a DO school will not be any different than the science required for MD. However if it is your science GPA that you are concerned about, it will be easier to get into DO than MD with low sGPA.

    Yes, I believe about 50% of DOs go into primary care.
     
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  4. ahc336

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    Hey man, thanks for the post. 3.5 is the bottom-line for Med schools (so I've heard around here), what would a realistic bottom-line be for a DO med school? Also, dumb question incoming: do all med schools award MDs and DOs?
     
  5. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    Honestly, it depends on the school but I would say bottom line sGPA around a 3.2 for DO, some schools have higher screens though (K-CUMB)

    Do you mean can you get either a DO/MD degree at any given medical school? No. Osteopathic medical schools give DO degrees. Allopathic medical schools give MD degrees. There are the rare exceptions of schools that have both programs (e.g. MSU) but the medical colleges are completely separate and have different admissions, classes, etc.
     
  6. TrueWolverine

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    DO is the exact same science/curriculum plus added OMM training. So no, DO is not easier for those weaker in science. It is still med school and is in no way, shape, or form an easy route to becoming a doctor. It's more for underdogs in the sense that you don't have to have a perfect track record. DO schools take the most recent grade retakes allowing those who had a rough first year or two of college to make up for their mistakes and still have a chance to get in. Once you're in, you're in med school and there's no "well you struggled with undergrad so we'll take it easy."

    A lot of DO's self select to go into primary care so it's a great option if that's your focus. I also know quite a few DO's doing EM so that's definitely an option as well. I believe OB/GYN is also pretty doable as a DO.

    Bottom line GPA would be 3.0-3.1, but that's assuming you kill the MCAT and have great EC's as well. You can't just slack off in every aspect and expect to get in. The general idea seems to be to shoot for at least a 3.4-3.5. If you're lower than that you'll need other things to stand out in your app.

    DO Schools and MD Schools are different schools. If you go to a DO school, you will become a DO. If you go to an MD school, you will become an MD. It's not like you go to any med school and then pick DO or MD at the end.
     
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  7. oOKawaiiOo

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    Red: No. NO. NOOOOOOOOOO. If you think DOs are inferior, then you're wrong.
    Blue: Doesnt matter what route you choose, MD or DO, you will work hard regardless to get into any specialty.
    Green: Some of the DOs are primary care directed, but you still have the choice to choose.
    Black: Say no more.
     
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  8. Seth Joo

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    My cousin went to a top ten MD school and got interviews at top residency programs left and right, its a lot easier for an MD to get a good residency than a DO. As a DO you have a to work harder to prove yourself.
     
  9. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    There is nothing left of this particular horse...
     
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  10. costales

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    Quit slacking off. You forgot to mention Harvard and Yale in your post.
     
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  11. TrueWolverine

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    It's interesting to me that you, in your eyes, "settled" for DO. It seems as though you have absolutely nothing positive to say about DO's or DO schools. You're so worried about how great you think the MD life is, so I'm confused as to why you ever went DO.
     
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  12. hse

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    seth joo is a troll... 99.9% of his posts are 'md good, do bad' repetitive stuff... it's unlikely he's a do student
     
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  13. DoctorSynthesis

    DoctorSynthesis Friendly osteopath
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    I would say 15% of my class goes into EM and obgyn.

    My schools gets a good amount of matches that some people say is impossible for DOs. The whole notion of DO = primary care isn't true.



    As far as bottom line GPA depends on the school. My school would require at least a 3.3 to be competitive. A 3.5 would be much better though.

    If you want to play the anecdote game my family member (DO) got many residency interviews at ultra competitive places also. People that do well in medical school end up getting a good residency regardless of where they went to medical school
     
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  14. Seth Joo

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    Most of the doctors in this country are MDs and there is an inherent bias towards them being de facto physicians. DOs had to work very hard to get recognition as physicians, it was only for the last 30 years or so that DOs have been eligible for full medical practice rights in all 50 US states. There are still regions of this country today that are heavily biased towards MDs, my hometown is one of those regions.

    Many DO schools have found a niche where they work to produce primary care physicians and physicians for underserved and rural communities. Very few Allopathic institutions serve this purpose.

    I believe many DOs are just as good as MDs but the system and the general public is biased and they favor MDs over DOs, I am not responsible for that bias, that is just the way it is, remember as a DO there will always be a time in your career where you will have to explain your training and education to someone who is not familiar with Osteopathic Medicine and a lot of people out there are in the dark.

    Let me correct myself it was less than 30 years that DOs have had full practice rights in all 50 US States, Nebraska was the last state to grant DOs full rights and that was in 1989.
     
    #13 Seth Joo, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  15. ATL.F.Doc

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    There are plenty of primary care MD's as well. The bottom line is Physician in need is physician indeed!.
    OP, DO schools for students who believe in themselves that they could be good doctors.
     
  16. Seth Joo

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    I never said there were not primary care MDs, there are, also I never said that DOs were bad, plenty of DOs are excellent physicians, but what we do grapple with as DOs is a bias against us amongst the public, its definitely out there. Virtually all of us will experience some form of discrimination during our careers, something our MD colleagues will not need to think about.
     
  17. TrueWolverine

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    You say this like it's some impossible hurdle to jump through. Here's how I imagine that conversation going.....

    Patient: I see your ID says DO, are you a doctor? Nurse? Never seen those initials before.

    Me: It actually stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I went to med school and had the same schooling as an MD so I have all the same practicing rights but learned some extra stuff to diagnose, treat, and do manipulations, called Osteopathy.

    Patient: So you're like an MD with extra training? Like a doctor plus physical therapist?

    Me: More like a doctor with a few extra tricks. I went to medical school, not PT school.

    Patient: So you're a doctor?

    Me: Yup.

    Patient: Sweet. Let's fix me now

    Me: Love to.
     
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  18. Seth Joo

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    You are probably in Michigan where DOs are a big part of the healthcare community but there are regions of the country where DOs are few in number, my home city, Boston is one of them, its a city where MDs dominate. And that is the way it is, sure plenty of DOs are great doctors and just as good as MDs, some are superior to MDs, but the reality of life is that there people who have biases, and there are people who have biases against those of us who are DOs, that is life, its not fair. I am not putting down DOs, I am merely pointing out a reality of life. People are not rational, we cannot expect the general public to be such, and many grew up with biases.
     
  19. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    Eh, I would say more 70/30 favoring troll, having been around him on the forums for a couple years. I do, however, think he's jumped in with the weird DO student self-loathing crowd you see here sometimes.
     
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  20. Seth Joo

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    No I am just keenly aware of the issues of being a DO versus an MD and the realities of the medical profession, the general public is biased towards MDs, its a fact of life. That does not mean DOs are not fine physicians, many are fine doctors, its just that we have a stigma and bias that works against us in the real world, and we will face situations in our careers where there will be some people who will question our credentials and education, maybe not all the time but it will happen, its a fact of life.

    People who go to foreign medical schools also face a similar and much stronger stigma amongst the general public as well which has gotten more acute over the past few years. Most of this stigma seems to be strongest amongst the Carribbean and graduates of third world medical schools not so much graduates of medical schools in advanced first world countries like Ireland and the UK.

    If given the choice of a DO school or some school in some distant third world land, I would heartily recommend a premed choose the DO school easily. Though I have occasionally heard of people choose a DO school over an LCME MD school for some silly reason, I knew one person who picked CCOM because he wanted to live in Chicago and the MD school he got into was in a small town, I thought that was a bad reason to pick DO over MD, not to mention he go into a lower priced MD state school.
     
    #19 Seth Joo, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  21. Stagg737

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    @ahc336 , I think this sums it up nicely. The only critique I would have is that certain fields or subspecialties are still significantly harder to enter as a DO than an MD. It's not impossible to do as a DO, but it can be very difficult. Derm and Plastics are probably the two biggest ones that come to mind. There are also a very small number of MD residencies that do not accept DO students. Hopefully this will start to change after the merger, but who knows what the real implications of it will be.

    However, since you've stated your current interests are either EM, OB/GYN, or primary care, having a DO degree should not hinder you in any way at 99% of the residency programs you would apply to, and may even be an advantage at some.
     
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  22. Seth Joo

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    Derm and Plastics is even tough for MDs, but I think its most reachable from someone from a top 10 MD like Harvard. Anyone can get OB/GYN. EM is not tough at all.

    Most of the really good residency programs in Boston thumb their noses at DOs, like Harvard and Tufts. They will occasionally take someone from Canada or a Commonwealth country like the UK though.
     
  23. zero0

    zero0 everything i hug dies
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    tee hee
     
  24. Stagg737

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    Yes, they are. But plastics is near impossible for DOs (I've heard of less than 5 entering the field, 2 of which came from my school), and derm is also very difficult. Not saying it isn't tough as an MD, just that it is significantly harder as DO. I'll also add that EM, though still considered non-competitive, is becoming more and more competitive each year. Getting into a strong EM program is not nearly as easy as it used to be.
     
  25. Seth Joo

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    That is why I hate this merger, because the presence of exclusive AOA residencies gave DOs a fighting chance to enter these fields, now with dual accreditation they are going to be competing with MDs for these residencies and guess who is going to get them? The MDs!!!!
     
  26. Stagg737

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    There were never AOA residencies for plastics, so DO's won't be any worse for wear in that field. Derm also won't hurt as there are only 49 positions available nationally, and last year 5 of them went unfilled. This is largely because many of the AOA derm residencies are in locations that most people don't want to go near and (depending on who you talk to) are not very good programs (though this is something I've only heard, obviously). So there's an excess of derm spots. The only competitive fields I can think of off the top of my head that could hurt for the reasons you said are ortho and gas. There's some decent programs in good locations that MDs may want to snag. However, part of the merger is that many current AOA programs will still be accredited as osteopathic programs even though they will be governed by the ACGME. So in order to be accepted, one must meet their standards for osteopathic competency, meaning MDs will have to somehow get the training to meet those qualifications. Or so I've been told.

    The biggest thing the merger will do to hurt DOs is the fact that it will take away the ACGME as a 'back-up match'. For example, if someone wants to go ortho, they should list only ortho programs for AOA, as many programs will drop you if they find out you've ranked another specialty. However, under the current system, if they don't match AOA, they can then rank whatever field they want and still have a shot at a competitive program in say IM or another field through the ACGME match. Once the merger happens, that won't be possible anymore. It'll be all or nothing on that one match. So for DOs shooting for something like ortho where it's go big or go home, it will raise the stakes. At least this is how I see it playing out with what I have read and heard on the topic.
     
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  27. ahc336

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    What merger are you referring to? Also I've heard that rural and underserved areas have trouble with attracting doctors of almost every flavor (primary care and trauma doctors to name a few), and I am in no way opposed to living in a smaller city or a rural area... so maybe this DO thing will work out.

    Does one have to tailor their undergraduate years to DO or MD? I know the pre-reqs would probably be similar, if not identical, but is the application differences between the two so large that it's impossible?

    Thanks for the answers in here guys, much appreciated
     
  28. Seth Joo

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    There is a good reason why rural and underserved areas do not get a lot of doctors, its because they do not have patients that have good insurance plans, doctors go where there is money, that is the bottom line, all the medical schools talking about a physician shortage are lying, there is no physician shortage, in some of the big cities doctors are losing their jobs. Try looking for a job as a doctor in a city like Boston, good luck to you if you have little experience and no connections.
     
  29. Goro

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    He's what one of my DO colleagues would call a "self-hating DO".


     
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  30. Seth Joo

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    I never said DOs are bad, and I am not anti DO at all. There are plenty of good DOs, its just the public perception of our profession is not on the same level as our MD colleagues, we live in a consumer market, everyone knows Toyota and Honda, they know Mercedes and BMW. They know Apple and Sony.

    The DO brand is not as well known as the MD brand yet, with the right management and visionary leadership it could be on the same level or better.

    As a profession we got to stop looking at AT Still and look to the future. Medicine is science, its not about the past and history, its about the future. Think Steve Jobs type visionary.
     
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  31. Goro

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    I agree 100% here. But your other posts on the subject are coming off with decidedly negative slants. If more than one of us are picking up on it, consider what we're saying the next time you post.

     
  32. feeling-dizzy

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    I have no problem with DO school. Just hate OMM
     
  33. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    It might be cool to be able to help family members with back pain like some students report, but I also haven't dealt with it yet :shrug:
     
  34. feeling-dizzy

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    No offense. It is a big waste of time. I just had a whole day 4+ hours class doing nothing but OMM; I wish to have those hours to learn biochem or anatomy instead. It is just a glorified massage technique. There, I got it off my chest.
     
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  35. Stagg737

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    The merger is referring to the AOA (DO match/governing body) and the ACGME (MD match) merging so there is one match which involves every residency program in the country. Currently DOs and MDs have separate matches where DOs can apply to either one while MDs can only match into ACGME. In the near future, all programs will be accredited by ACGME and every med school graduate will have the opportunity to apply to any program. That's a gross simplification of what's happening, but it sums up the process pretty simply.

    There is no need to 'tailor' yourself for MD or DO, just do your best and get some extra-curricular experience and you'll be fine for both. The only exception is that the more 'elite' MD schools tend to be more research focused, so if that's what you're shooting for you should do some research. Otherwise there's not much difference other than stats, and that isn't even that different anymore either.

    I'm assuming you've only been in school for a week and have only had some intro/MFR, so I'll be nice. While I agree there are some techniques that are ridiculous (chapman's points for example), you'll learn some very useful skills as well depending on what field of medicine you want to enter. Almost every single athletic trainer and PT I've seen have used muscle energy on me, and I've had more than one MD ortho doc use it as well. I'll also add that the number of people that included in the group of those who used ME on me is well into the double digits. Do you really think that all of those people, including MDs would be using that technique if it didn't have any effect? MFR may seem dumb, and maybe it is just a glorified massage, but certain techniques like ME and HVLA will be easier to perform if you loosen your patients' muscles first. No, not all of it will likely be useful to you, but most of what I learned first year were techniques that I would at least consider administering to patients if they had the right indications.

    I'm not trying to say drink the kool-aid or that every technique is some special, magical tool that's a osteopathic secret, just saying keep an open mind. Some of what you'll learn is far more useful than you might expect.
     
  36. echo87

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    SethJoo may come across that way, likely as a result of his complete lack of optimism, but I don't hold it against him that he's trying to slap us with some reality now, as opposed to potentially later.

    The only thing that causes me to raise an eyebrow at him is his Donald Trump avvy. Geez man... but politics isn't really a polite topic so I'll leave it be
     
  37. Stagg737

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    I need to amend a previous statement. There are currently no integrated plastics programs for DO students. So if one wishes to pursue plastic surgery throughout residency as a DO, they must match in ACGME. However, there are 8 AOA fellowships in plastic surgery, so one may enter a gen surgery residency in the AOA and then enter a plastics residencies.
     
  38. ahc336

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    Plastic surgery. Ick...
     
  39. Seth Joo

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    Who said I got no optimism? I got realism, that is what I have, I am real as they get. You have to have your feet planted firmly on the ground, the schools and the AOA will say a lot of stuff that DOs have the same opportunity and can do anything that and MD can do and what not, the reality is that the public has biases, and you will have prove yourself worthy and work much harder than your MD brethren to show you go the right stuff. Nothing is going to be handed to you, nothing.

    And yes I love Trump. Frankly speaking we got too many bums in politics and we need some real people in government, a man like Trump could bring some real change. Sure he made some controversial comments, but I reevaluated what he said, and he is not xenophobic or racist, what he wants is the rule of law, that is what he wants, he also wants to bring back the free market system that made this country so great in the first place.
     

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