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Osteopathic Difficulty

packalldwypackalldwy Posts: 473Registered User Member
edited April 2013 in Pre-Med Topics
How hard is it to get into a DO school (assuming I get rejected from all the allopathic schools I apply to)?

What is the average GPA and MCAT scores for these schools? (I could only find data from around 2007)

How hard is it to get into a residency afterwards while competing with fellow DO students and MD students? Thank you
Post edited by packalldwy on
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Replies to: Osteopathic Difficulty

  • bookiemombookiemom Posts: 1,881Registered User Senior Member
    Still very hard to get into a DO school, especially the older, well-known ones. My D is at one of the top three DO schools, about 5,000 applicants for a class of about 200.

    DO schools want students who are interested in that approach, not just applying because you didn't get in to allopathic schools. You have to show that interest in applications.

    Above 3.5 and 28-30 is my educated guess. Many students in my D's class are above that level and many chose the DO school over MD programs.

    There are DO residencies and MD residencies. Some DO students take the MD test and apply for MD residencies; most don't. Same level of competition for more desireable specialities in DO.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Posts: 6,647Registered User Senior Member
    AACOM is the osteopathic equivalent to AMCAS.

    College Information Book

    If you look at the contents---there chart for the accepted student stats for the last 3 years. (Can't post myself--having computer issues).

    But IIRC, average stats is 3.5 and 29 MCAT.

    But osteopathic school have a requirement that most allopathic students don't have--namely shadowing an osteopathic doctor and LOR from one.

    Osteopaths take the USMLE just like allopaths do. DO has its own residency programs, DOs can also compete for MD residencies. Most DOs go into primary care fields--but that has more to do with programmic philosophies than the quality of the students.
  • pohakupohaku Posts: 168Registered User Junior Member
    My wife is a DO. There are both DO and MD residencies available and you can apply to both. Far more specialty slots available for MD residencies however. You will compete with everyone else for those slots. While DOs have traditionally be strong in primary care, many of my wife's classmates did MD residencies in a wide variety of specialties. For example, my wife is a neurologist in private practice, did an MD residency at a top notch program and is board certified. Other classmates did specialties in general surgery, orthopedics, physiatry, psychiatry and radiation oncology, among others.
  • DwalkerDwalker Posts: 251Registered User Junior Member
    Well, it is significantly 'easier' to get into a DO program than a MD. The average entering DO's GPA is a 3.48 (science being a 3.36) and a 26.5 MCAT based on WOWmoms link. Looking at MD, only 23% of applicants with stats in that range (3.4-3.59/24-26 MCAT) were accepted. The average for MD is around a 3.6/31. The difference is a whole lot of studying for the MCAT (a 4-5 point increase isn't easy) and taking a number of post-bach classes, earning A's in all.
    https://www.aamc.org/download/157450/data/table24-mcatgpagridall2008-10.pdf
    With that being said, it is not easy. Taking premed courses and leaving with a GPA above 3.0 could be challenging. And, scoring high enough on the MCAT can be as well. MD and DO are both crab shots, you can't expect to get in neither completely, no matter what your stats are.
  • gutsandglory117gutsandglory117 Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    Well most people I know who are in DO schools are there because they couldn't get into MD schools.

    My brother is in his second year at NYCOM and he really hates it. He and his friends there told me that they wish they had taken some more time and gone MD. So if that's coming from a current DO student then it's saying something.

    Is it easier to get into than MD? Comparatively yes since allopathic schools are more competitive thus have a better pool of students. However it still isnt easy.

    If you want to do family practice than DO should allow you to do that, however it is much easier to do specialties as an MD since the degree is more widely respected, even outside the US unlike DO. Most people don't even know what that is, however everyone is aware of the MD degree so it's also a matter of personal prestige.

    So it's really upto you. I would apply MD and save DO as a back door option if you can't be an MD.

    Remember this is America, we feel the need to let everyone have an opportunity even of they aren't good enough. In the medical field there is the DO degree to make people feel good about themselves because they cant be MDs. That said there are some very smart people in my brothers class, however he said that I shouldn't go DO, because he is really unhappy as one.
  • packalldwypackalldwy Posts: 473Registered User Member
    My options after undergrad are 1. MD schools 2. DO schools 3. Caribbean schools. I want to go into family practice (internal medicine) so I'm fine with DO.

    Do the salaries of an MD and DO vary?
  • gutsandglory117gutsandglory117 Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    No, there isn't much difference since salary is more based on the specialty than the degree. most DOs do family practice so it's not an MD predominant field. My brother said that specializing in a field where there are mostly MDs may cause you to earn less as a DO but not really by much.

    In summary I think you should be fine.
  • packalldwypackalldwy Posts: 473Registered User Member
    What are some of the best specialities for DO students?
  • pohakupohaku Posts: 168Registered User Junior Member
    I'm a health care attorney. Most of my clients are physician groups. In our market (upper midwest), groups hire MDs and DOs without really distinguishing between the two degrees. Pay is the same. Residency and fellowships are much more significant than what degree you have. Full disclosure - my wife is a DO and is a specialist with an MD residency. It has been a non-issue. She attended a DO school because there was one in the town we were living in at the time - it was convenient and was the only school to which she applied.
  • gutsandglory117gutsandglory117 Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    ^ I guess that is your opinion, but my brother who is a current DO student gives me a very different picture so it's not the same for everyone. No doubt it is possible to be a successful doctor as a DO, it's apparently easier as an MD according to my brother and his DO friends.

    Moreover it's a choice of personal preference as well, since you can't deny that getting your top choice residency would be easier as an MD. Plus, with all due respect, the MD degree is much more widely known and recognized so why settle for less when there is a better degree out there?

    I mean no offense to your wife, I am sure that she, like some other DOs is a good doctor, but when you hear things like that from your brother and current DO students, it makes you wonder what the point of it even is.
  • pohakupohaku Posts: 168Registered User Junior Member
    I suppose it is what you make of your opportunities. I'm sure it isn't the same for everyone. My wife went to a DO program because it fit with where we were in our lives at that time. It was located where we were living and working at the time. She could applied elsewhere to MD programs, but didn't. We know lots of DOs that are the heads of their respective clinics and departments and went to great residencies. My wife got her first choice residency. At Mayo in neurology. Presumptively they thought well enough of her regardless of her degree. So it is certainly possible to do well with a DO degree. It may be somewhat more difficult than with an MD degree in some parts of the country, but it is by no means an insurmountable issue.
  • gutsandglory117gutsandglory117 Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    True, having a DO is not an insurmountable issue, but the "lots of DOs are heads of departments" aspect may not be true since most DOs are not department heads, that is easier to do as an MD. It is possible to do that as a DO, but just less DOs do that compared to MDs. Ultimately it boils down to personal choice, because the case if your wife is very rare among DOs. It is hard to get a good residency as a DO since the medical field is difficult enough, I wouldn't want to limit myself or make it harder for me unnecessarily. This was told me by current DO students so that is saying something, but again, it doesn't mean it's wrong or any less of a degree.
  • Shaggy007Shaggy007 Posts: 851Registered User Member
    Some people choose DO over MD because they think that MD is too hard.
    Two of my cousins did this.
  • pohakupohaku Posts: 168Registered User Junior Member
    Do you mean the application or the actual study program?
  • gutsandglory117gutsandglory117 Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    ^ I know some people in my brother's class who decided to go DO simply because they thought it would be easier to get into. Im not sure if they think the curriculum is any different in difficulty, but certainly motivated them to go DO because its the comparatively "easier" route. That said, I wouldn't recommend it until your sure that you can't get into an MD school.
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