Question of the Week: Why Consider Osteopathic Medicine?

Friday, Jan 11, 2019

Hi HPA – I met with an advisor who suggested that I consider DO school. Is this because they didn’t think I was good enough to get into MD programs?
There are a number of reasons we might suggest osteopathic (DO) medical schools. We are likely to suggest DO for students who we think would be a good fit for the philosophy of the profession, or whose interests and career goals align with those of other students we’ve seen find success in the DO profession. For example, if a student is expresses interest in working primary care and preventative medicine in underserved communities, that may fit well with DO. If a student’s highest priority is attending medical school in a specific area of the country, adding DO schools to a school list opens up more options. If by “good enough,” you mean that there may be concern regarding the strength of an applicant’s academic metrics, then yes, this can be a factor: in terms of straight statistics, DO programs often have lower average MCAT/GPA metrics for accepted applicants. But, we don’t think that this means DO programs are “worse” than MD programs, nor does that mean that you should treat it as a “fallback” option. Any student interested in becoming a physician would do well to learn more about osteopathic medicine and see if it’s a good fit for them.

QOTW in 2017: Shadowing Abroad
QOTW in 2016: Am I Cut Out to be a Doctor?