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#32813 - 09/06/04 10:03 PM Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
7xmom Offline

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 40
Loc: New Orleans
I have read the AAMOCAS website regarding osteopathic medicine but what is the actual advantage to obtaining a DO degree? As a physician wouldn't you always be like a salmon swimming upstream? Since you are going against the flow wouldn't you have to defend and prove you are capable again and again? Just asking so I can make an informed decision on MD or DO. Thanks!! This website has been a great source of encouragement to me!! :wave:

#32814 - 09/07/04 06:34 AM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
Drey Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 1314
Loc: Pittsburgh PA
Just a reminder that this forum is for medical students only. General questions should be posted on the premedical or general board, where everyone will be able to see them and respond.

MD's and DO's get the same training and the same priviliges. DO's also get training in osteopathic manipulation, and tend to focus more on treating the patient as a whole rather than just the disease. Although, to give allopathic schools credit, a lot more of them are moving towards patient centered medicine. In most of the primary care fields (peds, FP, IM, OBGYN) I believe that DO's are seen as equal to MD's, but I have heard of DO's facing discrimination of the type you talked about in fields such as surgery, ortho, etc. I think this is because DO schools tend to accept more non-traditional applicants and are more flexible, and look beyond the scores a bit more, so their average gpas and mcats aren't as high. This makes some people believe that DO students aren't as capable.

Research it some more, apply to both types of schools, talk to DO's and MD's. You have lots of time to decide.

#32815 - 09/07/04 02:50 PM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
Marilyn Offline

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 200
Loc: OKC
I personally plan to apply to both MD and DO schools, to me it's all the same, your a doctor.

Here in the south where I live you see equal MD and DO physicians, I'm not sure how it is everywhere else though.

Some people though have no clue what a DO is. My MIL actually thought that DO meant "Drop Out" I kid you And she would never see a DO because she didn't think they were "real doctors".

So yes, there is some prejudice but anymore that is less and less.

SDN is a good site and they have a site for pre-med and a DO and MD discussion forumns ( I think is what it is....someone correct me if Im wrong).


#32816 - 09/07/04 09:57 PM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
Kate_dup1 Offline

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 46
Loc: Fairbanks, Alaska
I'm a DO so I can offer perspective. I chose the DO field not because I couldn't get into an MD school but rather because I liked the holistic approach and school/learning environment of my school. I went to PCOM. However, it is true that many DO students are simply there because they didn't get into or were wait listed to an MD school. So I think that is where that bad press is from.

I don't run into too many primary care MD's who have any prejudices against DO's. In fact, DO's are a resource to them due to the manipulation aspect. And I've also known MD's who have worked with DO's who think the best surgeon, best interventional radiologist, best whatever was a DO. Yet, it is true that no matter how good your grades are and recs are and all else being equal, if you and an MD applicant were applying to the same Harvard fellowship, chances are the MD will get it. Fields such as CT surgery, ophthalmology, neurosurgery also are difficult to obtain if you are looking into an allopathic program. But there are osteopathic programs of the equivalent.

The decision comes down to whether you feel the additional training of manipulation and the holistic approach is enough for you to make your decision...I would strongly recommend finding a DO that does manipulation and see what it is all about. Most of the DO schools will require recommnedations from a DO. Once I found out about DO schools in undergrad I went to a DO and shadowed him. I was impressed and my mind was made up.

Good luck.

#32817 - 09/08/04 03:02 PM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
MD2004 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Irvine, CA
I was wondering if anyone knew any Emergency Medicine DO's? If so, do they get discriminated against because they are DO rather than MD?

#32818 - 09/08/04 08:55 PM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
7xmom Offline

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 40
Loc: New Orleans
Thank you all for your responses to my question. Especially Kate, DO smile . I feel drawn to the DO philosophy because it appears to be (don't take this wrong MD's) more humane, more sensitive to the needs of the people we will be helping, and more in line with my beliefs of what medicine should be in general. After all, we are human and can only do so much.

However, I am misunderstanding the word holistic, though. Are they referring to the "whole" person or are they referring to herbal remedies, and folk medicine, etc.?

I'm still new to all this, please excuse the seemingly endless questions!!! confused

#32819 - 09/09/04 08:01 AM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
EKM Offline

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 586
Loc: Midwest
I am interested in Osteopathic medicine, also. I am also very interested in Psychiatry, though. I would love to be a Psychiatrist. I don't think there are any D.O. Psych's out there. I just think it would be so cool to learn the Manipulation.

#32820 - 09/09/04 09:55 AM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
Siobhan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 7
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hi! i found your discussions very interesting, nd would like to add my own experience. As an RN working on a med/surg unit, I was friends with the Chief Resident, who was mentoring a medical student. I happened to be sitting there, when they launched into a discussion about another medical student (female), who was doing the same rotation, but was from an osteopathic school. They very disparaging of this very capable young lady, snickering back and forth about the school that she was from, and I have to tell you, I was beyond appalled. Now that I am considering medical school myself, I am drawn to the philosophy of the osteopathic schools, and yet...this experience is forever lodged in my memory as to just how nasty the politics of medicine can be!

#32821 - 09/09/04 11:41 AM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
7xmom Offline

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 40
Loc: New Orleans
Hello again! I have been surfing the web for all the info I could find on Osteopathic doctors/ medicine. I came across a website called It has information about osteopathy that you may want to check out before you devote yourself to a career in osteopathy. It was very enlightening to me and really made me think. :yes:

#32822 - 09/10/04 06:24 PM Re: Why choose an Osteopathic Medical School?
PremedRN Offline

Registered: 08/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: Indiana
We have 3 DO EM physicians at our hospital out of about 6, 2 females, 1 male, and I have never heard any negative comments or discrimination from anyone about them being osteopathic ever. Although at teaching hospitals this may happen a bit more because of the competitive environment and maybe teaching hospitals that mostly have mds.

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