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:
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.
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.
Thank you all for your responses to my question. Especially Kate, DO . 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: