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  • #16
    In the old days, perhaps 25+ years ago, DO classes were largely filled by people who were not accepted into MD classes. I think that has changed over the years. There is no question that coming from a DO program will limit your residency choices, specialty matching, and possibly career trajectory. It will not matter if you want to practice family medicine in rural North Dakota, but I think it will matter a lot if you might want to be the Chairman of Surgery at Harvard. In fact, I can say with a high degree of confidence that you will not be Chairman of Surgery at Harvard from a DO background.

    I am all for young people keeping options open as long as possible. In other contexts, I use this analogy with my teenagers a lot. You do not want to make decisions (or mistakes) early in life that will close doors to future possibilities. You might say that my illustration above (Chairman at Harvard) is silly and that you have no such aspirations, but the 25 year old you has no idea what the 45 or 55 year old you will want from his career.

    Where the actual line of making a difference lies is undefined and fluid. I know that in my specialty (Radiology), in my area of the country, there are very few DOs. Of the 100+ radiologists that I can name in my community, none are DOs. There have been none in my (big name University) residency program, ever.

    So, IMO, the DO vs MD decision is a pretty big deal, one that should not be dismissed as equal, and one that should not be made in the context of saving a few thousand dollars by going to a DO school. A family friend’s son did not get into MD med school last year, is now reapplying for next year and is considering some DO programs, which reinforces the stereotype from the old days.

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    • #17
      Very few DOs in the SE where I practice.  I would go MD if possible.  I think it could effect residency matching and possibly the first job.  After that no difference unless you want to do academics.  A friend of mine son did DO school after being rejected by our state MD school.

      Comment


      • #18
        Welcome to the forum LLB,

        I am currently an M2 in Virginia, and I agree with the sentiments about choosing the cheapest and best school for you. I think choosing MD over DO if you have the choice is a good one. I don't have the bias of one being better than the other, but I know residencies occasionally do. I paid a $1500 deposit to the first DO school that accepted me, and I ended up at an MD school after I got that call. There were other factors at play as well for me.

        I think your house hacking idea is actually a good one. My friend is actually doing that right now to cut back on the cost of housing. He bought a 3 or 4 bed with 2 baths with the help of his parents for cosigning the loan, and now he essentially lives in a home for free. I definitely would recommend finding other med students to live with you because they understand that quiet study time is important, and they understand your joint struggle. Additionally, thinking a little longer term, if you get multiple years within the house at some point, you could just have a student rental if you decide to leave the area for residency. It is possible that I have been spending too much time on BiggerPockets lately though and the docs on here may not agree with me.

        Alternatively with that money, you could mostly keep yourself out of debt for a year. Unsubsidized Stafford loans are now at 6% and Grad Plus are up to 7%, I am thinking that they will continue to go up next year. It may be worth it to use at least some of that money to keep your loan burden low during one of your school years. I know there is a lot of stress over debt, especially when we have no ability to begin to pay it off, but you'll be ok. You are in the right place for advice, and you are developing an excellent financial mindset moving forward.

        Congrats on getting accepted, and I look forward to seeing how your journey goes!

        Comment


        • #19




          In the old days, perhaps 25+ years ago, DO classes were largely filled by people who were not accepted into MD classes. I think that has changed over the years. There is no question that coming from a DO program will limit your residency choices, specialty matching, and possibly career trajectory. It will not matter if you want to practice family medicine in rural North Dakota, but I think it will matter a lot if you might want to be the Chairman of Surgery at Harvard. In fact, I can say with a high degree of confidence that you will not be Chairman of Surgery at Harvard from a DO background.

          I am all for young people keeping options open as long as possible. In other contexts, I use this analogy with my teenagers a lot. You do not want to make decisions (or mistakes) early in life that will close doors to future possibilities. You might say that my illustration above (Chairman at Harvard) is silly and that you have no such aspirations, but the 25 year old you has no idea what the 45 or 55 year old you will want from his career.

          Where the actual line of making a difference lies is undefined and fluid. I know that in my specialty (Radiology), in my area of the country, there are very few DOs. Of the 100+ radiologists that I can name in my community, none are DOs. There have been none in my (big name University) residency program, ever.

          So, IMO, the DO vs MD decision is a pretty big deal, one that should not be dismissed as equal, and one that should not be made in the context of saving a few thousand dollars by going to a DO school. A family friend’s son did not get into MD med school last year, is now reapplying for next year and is considering some DO programs, which reinforces the stereotype from the old days.
          Click to expand...


          Really enjoyed this post. The DO v. MD choice is a knowledge gap for me so the discussion here has been particularly helpful.
          Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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          • #20
            Wow so many opinions on here! I really do appreciate the time each one of you took spending replying and offering advice--thanks.

            I didn't intend to make this into some sort of MD/DO pissing contest, but I do appreciate the honesty and opinions expressed. I'm more concerned with how supported I'll feel in a program, and the quality of education I'll get, instead of status and reputation. I didn't even apply to Harvard or Penn or anything, because with an MCAT in the 76th percentile, I was being realistic. Both DO programs I've interviewed at are reputable and have been around for a while (i.e. not Liberty University or the few for-profit ones) and have had 100% matches for the past 5+ years. Pretty sure I don't want to get into surgery, but should I get in to the in-state MD program, it'll definitely give that some points just because it won't necessarily close those doors like a DO degree might.

            Thanks again everyone SO glad I found this forum!

            Comment


            • #21




              In the old days, perhaps 25+ years ago, DO classes were largely filled by people who were not accepted into MD classes. I think that has changed over the years. There is no question that coming from a DO program will limit your residency choices, specialty matching, and possibly career trajectory. It will not matter if you want to practice family medicine in rural North Dakota, but I think it will matter a lot if you might want to be the Chairman of Surgery at Harvard. In fact, I can say with a high degree of confidence that you will not be Chairman of Surgery at Harvard from a DO background.

              I am all for young people keeping options open as long as possible. In other contexts, I use this analogy with my teenagers a lot. You do not want to make decisions (or mistakes) early in life that will close doors to future possibilities. You might say that my illustration above (Chairman at Harvard) is silly and that you have no such aspirations, but the 25 year old you has no idea what the 45 or 55 year old you will want from his career.

              Where the actual line of making a difference lies is undefined and fluid. I know that in my specialty (Radiology), in my area of the country, there are very few DOs. Of the 100+ radiologists that I can name in my community, none are DOs. There have been none in my (big name University) residency program, ever.

              So, IMO, the DO vs MD decision is a pretty big deal, one that should not be dismissed as equal, and one that should not be made in the context of saving a few thousand dollars by going to a DO school. A family friend’s son did not get into MD med school last year, is now reapplying for next year and is considering some DO programs, which reinforces the stereotype from the old days.
              Click to expand...


              certainly the gap between do and md has diminished over the decades.  for how long do you project that the chairman of surgery at harvard could not be a DO?  by the time current graduates are candidates it might be twenty years or more.

              i am not a DO, if that matters.

              have they abandoned all pretense at being a different philosophical approach?  no more manipulations?  i don't know if there is any reason to approach the question from a practical standpoint.

              i disagree slightly with my esteemed colleague here and think if the opportunity were as extreme as, for example, DO one year versus waiting and MD next year, the right thing to do would be to forge ahead.  i'm not sure MD at an international school is better than DO domestically.  Yes a few doors might close, but future is hard to predict.  I believe that the present gap is small enough that it can be overcome with research and publications and another degree if necessary.  sure chairman of surgery at harvard might be closed, but that might be closed if you don't go to harvard the whole way through for all i know.

              it might be closed if you are not a white male who went to harvard the whole way through.  

               

              Comment


              • #22







                In the old days, perhaps 25+ years ago, DO classes were largely filled by people who were not accepted into MD classes. I think that has changed over the years. There is no question that coming from a DO program will limit your residency choices, specialty matching, and possibly career trajectory. It will not matter if you want to practice family medicine in rural North Dakota, but I think it will matter a lot if you might want to be the Chairman of Surgery at Harvard. In fact, I can say with a high degree of confidence that you will not be Chairman of Surgery at Harvard from a DO background.

                I am all for young people keeping options open as long as possible. In other contexts, I use this analogy with my teenagers a lot. You do not want to make decisions (or mistakes) early in life that will close doors to future possibilities. You might say that my illustration above (Chairman at Harvard) is silly and that you have no such aspirations, but the 25 year old you has no idea what the 45 or 55 year old you will want from his career.

                Where the actual line of making a difference lies is undefined and fluid. I know that in my specialty (Radiology), in my area of the country, there are very few DOs. Of the 100+ radiologists that I can name in my community, none are DOs. There have been none in my (big name University) residency program, ever.

                So, IMO, the DO vs MD decision is a pretty big deal, one that should not be dismissed as equal, and one that should not be made in the context of saving a few thousand dollars by going to a DO school. A family friend’s son did not get into MD med school last year, is now reapplying for next year and is considering some DO programs, which reinforces the stereotype from the old days.
                Click to expand…


                certainly the gap between do and md has diminished over the decades.  for how long do you project that the chairman of surgery at harvard could not be a DO?  by the time current graduates are candidates it might be twenty years or more.

                i am not a DO, if that matters.

                have they abandoned all pretense at being a different philosophical approach?  no more manipulations?  i don’t know if there is any reason to approach the question from a practical standpoint.

                i disagree slightly with my esteemed colleague here and think if the opportunity were as extreme as, for example, DO one year versus waiting and MD next year, the right thing to do would be to forge ahead.  i’m not sure MD at an international school is better than DO domestically.  Yes a few doors might close, but future is hard to predict.  I believe that the present gap is small enough that it can be overcome with research and publications and another degree if necessary.  sure chairman of surgery at harvard might be closed, but that might be closed if you don’t go to harvard the whole way through for all i know.

                it might be closed if you are not a white male who went to harvard the whole way through.  ????

                 
                Click to expand...


                The gap has not diminished.

                Case-in-point, the NRMP separates their match data into two groups:  US allopathic and everyone else (international, DO, caribbean MD, etc.).  The match results for the US allopaths are perennially strong while the statistics for the everyone else group is typically very dour.  There are some residencies that have a DO or two on staff and some of those will make an effort to take a DO student here and there, but generally, to echo everyone else, it's difficult.

                And then in my anecdotal experience, my one friend who went the DO route simply wasn't competitive enough to get into an MD school.  But he had to be a doctor and he's planning a career as an internist, and he had a few DO schools offer him scholarships.  There are certainly very competitive students who go to a DO program for whatever reason, but these are the exceptions not the rule.

                But at the end of the day, both US docs still find employment as physicians.

                Comment


                • #23










                  In the old days, perhaps 25+ years ago, DO classes were largely filled by people who were not accepted into MD classes. I think that has changed over the years. There is no question that coming from a DO program will limit your residency choices, specialty matching, and possibly career trajectory. It will not matter if you want to practice family medicine in rural North Dakota, but I think it will matter a lot if you might want to be the Chairman of Surgery at Harvard. In fact, I can say with a high degree of confidence that you will not be Chairman of Surgery at Harvard from a DO background.

                  I am all for young people keeping options open as long as possible. In other contexts, I use this analogy with my teenagers a lot. You do not want to make decisions (or mistakes) early in life that will close doors to future possibilities. You might say that my illustration above (Chairman at Harvard) is silly and that you have no such aspirations, but the 25 year old you has no idea what the 45 or 55 year old you will want from his career.

                  Where the actual line of making a difference lies is undefined and fluid. I know that in my specialty (Radiology), in my area of the country, there are very few DOs. Of the 100+ radiologists that I can name in my community, none are DOs. There have been none in my (big name University) residency program, ever.

                  So, IMO, the DO vs MD decision is a pretty big deal, one that should not be dismissed as equal, and one that should not be made in the context of saving a few thousand dollars by going to a DO school. A family friend’s son did not get into MD med school last year, is now reapplying for next year and is considering some DO programs, which reinforces the stereotype from the old days.
                  Click to expand…


                  certainly the gap between do and md has diminished over the decades.  for how long do you project that the chairman of surgery at harvard could not be a DO?  by the time current graduates are candidates it might be twenty years or more.

                  i am not a DO, if that matters.

                  have they abandoned all pretense at being a different philosophical approach?  no more manipulations?  i don’t know if there is any reason to approach the question from a practical standpoint.

                  i disagree slightly with my esteemed colleague here and think if the opportunity were as extreme as, for example, DO one year versus waiting and MD next year, the right thing to do would be to forge ahead.  i’m not sure MD at an international school is better than DO domestically.  Yes a few doors might close, but future is hard to predict.  I believe that the present gap is small enough that it can be overcome with research and publications and another degree if necessary.  sure chairman of surgery at harvard might be closed, but that might be closed if you don’t go to harvard the whole way through for all i know.

                  it might be closed if you are not a white male who went to harvard the whole way through.  ????

                   
                  Click to expand…


                  The gap has not diminished.

                  Case-in-point, the NRMP separates their match data into two groups:  US allopathic and everyone else (international, DO, caribbean MD, etc.).  The match results for the US allopaths are perennially strong while the statistics for the everyone else group is typically very dour.  There are some residencies that have a DO or two on staff and some of those will make an effort to take a DO student here and there, but generally, to echo everyone else, it’s difficult.

                  And then in my anecdotal experience, my one friend who went the DO route simply wasn’t competitive enough to get into an MD school.  But he had to be a doctor and he’s planning a career as an internist, and he had a few DO schools offer him scholarships.  There are certainly very competitive students who go to a DO program for whatever reason, but these are the exceptions not the rule.

                  But at the end of the day, both US docs still find employment as physicians.
                  Click to expand...


                  in the old days, they forced the DO physicians to take an extra year of residency prior to allowing them in allopathic residencies.  In the old days, it was simply impossible for the DO to get into competitive programs in competitive specialties.  Now it is hard but possible.  I'm not saying there is no gap, and it may remain considerable in certain circumstances, but I maintain my belief that the gap has diminished.

                  who knows why someone is offered a job and another is not?  sometimes it has more to do with connections and familiarity than with degree.  sometimes it's all about networks.

                   

                   

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    We are actually in the midst of a residency merger currently. DOs and MDs will be applying to the same residencies through the ACGME by the time I'm applying. There's copious debate on whether this will be good or bad for DO students, with TONS of threads on SDN.

                    Check it out:
                    http://almost.thedoctorschannel.com/what-does-the-aoaacgme-residency-merger-mean-for-medical-students/

                    This is my first application cycle, and if ????????????????I get into the MD school, I'll very likely go there. But I've already taken one gap year as a scribe, and will have worked two years by the time I start next summer. I'm anxious to get going to the next step towards being a doctor, so if DO is my only option right now, I'm likely forging ahead anyway.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Those strings of ??? marks was the emoji with my fingers crossed lol.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        As a non MD/DO, I’ve always thought about osteopathy as a sort of pseudoscience, akin to homeopathy, acupuncture, etc.  Osteopathy even shows up as “fringe medicine” on the Wikipedia.  Admittedly, my thoughts on this are unenlightened, but I imagine I am not alone in having negative feelings about osteopathy.  Therefore, I would think an MD would be more valuable than a DO in medicine specifically and in life more generally.

                        So on the basis of a fairly uniformed view, I would recommend med school if you get in to one.  Anecdotally, even my friends who went to Caribbean med schools got pretty good jobs back in the US ultimately.

                        Comment


                        • #27




                          We are actually in the midst of a residency merger currently. DOs and MDs will be applying to the same residencies through the ACGME by the time I’m applying. There’s copious debate on whether this will be good or bad for DO students, with TONS of threads on SDN.

                          Check it out:
                          http://almost.thedoctorschannel.com/what-does-the-aoaacgme-residency-merger-mean-for-medical-students/

                          This is my first application cycle, and if ????????????????I get into the MD school, I’ll very likely go there. But I’ve already taken one gap year as a scribe, and will have worked two years by the time I start next summer. I’m anxious to get going to the next step towards being a doctor, so if DO is my only option right now, I’m likely forging ahead anyway.
                          Click to expand...


                          anyways, best of luck to you on a wonderful career.  it's an exciting (and stressful) time in your life.

                          even though I'm in the minority again on the relative value of md/do, I still think step 1 will be the single biggest factor in opening doors (that can be opened) for the future.  more than even md/do.   I could be wrong.  but even if I am, it still benefits you to ace that test.

                           

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I think in reality there is probably minimal difference in 'quality' of md/do graduates, and I have no prejudices against a DO personally. However, that does not mean the world at large has changed their opinion, and while maybe a small effect, I wouldnt risk it with an equivalent md choice available.

                            Comment


                            • #29


                              COL expenses (~16k per year,



                              and COL another ~35k. Yikes.

                              Your multiple cost of living numbers all seem crazy high. Who is calcuating these? What does your budget say? I did, and know plently of medical students who lived on very little money for 4 years.

                              Pay off the car. Keep 10-20k for emergency fund. High interest savings account. Find scholorships to apply for. Apply for some more! Can you walk/bike to school for the first 2 years? Cool way to save some money, use some heatbeats, and avoid parking tickets. Try and plan financially, but your job is to be awake and clear headed to crush school for the next years. Congrats and enjoy the journey!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                .
                                Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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