The Primary Application
There are two different types of medical schools in the U.S.: those granting MD (doctor of medicine) degrees and those granting DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) degrees.
The primary applications for MD and DO schools are very similar. Having finished both of them, I will compare and contrast, and then I will also describe the two types of medical schools based on what I have heard and witnessed in my time shadowing and listening to admissions representatives from both perspectives.
This past fall, I had a friend come in and speak to the pre-med club about his experience applying to medical school. He had already interviewed at several schools by that point, and he would later be accepted to something like eight medical schools. He put together an entire presentation and included the very helpful visual below.
The AMCAS Primary
For the work and activities section, you will have a maximum of 15 opportunities to briefly explain other aspects of your life that exemplify your motivations, with a choice to expand on three of those experiences. There are many ways to tackle this section, but there are two goals to remember: 1) be consistent and 2) no spelling/grammar errors.
The DO Primary
Regarding the institutional differences, traditional medical schools are the longstanding, more publicized schools of thought, often referred to as allopathic. Osteopathic schools began in 1874, inspired by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still’s holistic approach to medicine. The latter has gained prominence in the last decade due to the upcoming shortage concerns and the lower standards of acceptance.
The magic words to any medical school are “rural” and “primary care,” and this especially applies to osteopathic intuitions. The bottom line is, if you hope to practice under the primary care/internal medicine umbrella or have a lower GPA/MCAT score, then DO schools may be a good place for you to apply.
This article providesinsightful information regarding DO schools. One advantage to considering DO schools is that their graduates may apply to both MD and DO residencies, giving a doctor double the chances of matching. However, if you would like to explore more competitive specialty options, allopathic is the better pathway.
Other Helpful Links:
· Match: http://futureoffamilymedicine.blogspot.com/2013/03/future-of-family-medicine-2013-match.html
· Chance predictor: http://prospectivedoctor.com/chance-predictor
· Industry blogger: http://drkevincampbellmd.wordpress.com/
· For researching allopathic schools: MSAR
· Your primary source: Student Doctor Network Learn to navigate the forums, they can answer almost any question you have.
· DO App and MD App
· Thread for MD app activities section: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=896983