What a crazy year it has been; I have faced my greatest fears, worked...
What a crazy year it has been; I have faced my greatest fears, worked harder then I ever thought possible, shelled out a lot of money, worried more than a little, and, after all that, I get to be a doctor. If you would have spoken to me just a few months ago I would have told you medical school was a long reach from where I stood, no matter how you looked at it- I knew that, though I had a fairly competitive GPA, lots of extracurricular activities and a fair Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) score, there we're countless other people also applying to medical school that blew my application out of the water. Getting into medical school was entirely up to God, I would not make the cut unless it was truly His will. So, with a lot of faith and complete uncertainty about the outcome, I decided to apply to medical school at least once.
And so the long road began. The first decision an applicant must make is if they are interested only in M.D. schools, D.O. schools or both. If your anything like I was a few months ago, at this point your thinking something along the lines of, what in the world is a D.O.?. Jenni, my pre-med advisor, kindly smiled and told me M.D. stands for the traditional medical doctor where as D.O. stands for doctor of osteopathic medicine. She prompted me to begin investigating the differences between these two medical education programs.
Delving into researching the differences between these two programs I found three main differences.
1.Osteopathic physicians take a "whole person" approach to each patient
No, osteopathic physicians are not naturopaths. Unlike naturopathic physicians but just like M.D.s osteopaths are fully trained in prescribing traditional drugs and performing surgery. However, unlike both naturopaths and M.Ds, D.O.s are trained to look at the full body, incorporate all that could be going on and then treat the symptoms. D.O.s look at the whole person instead of just one specific symptom. I love this approach to medicine because I truly see the entire body and person as an integrated subject. In addition, my favorite way to learn is by investigating the interrelatedness of topics and systems, which is exactly how D.O. schools teach. During the first two years of medical schools both M.D.s and D.O.s receive training in pharmacology, pathology, anatomy and each major organ system (E.G. circulatory system or digestive system, for those intersted). An aspect of D.O. training I have come to love is, instead of having individual classes on each of these topics like in most traditional MD programs, you have integrated classes. So I would get to learn the pharmacology, anatomy and pathology of the circulatory system all at the same time. I believe that by learning to look at a bigger picture as D.O.s are taught to do, I will be learning in a way that I can succeed the most in.
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2. Osteopaths love the musculoskeletal system
The musculoskeletal system can be defined as your skeleton plus all the bodys muscles. This aspect was my favorite system to learn in undergraduate anatomy mostly because the musculoskeletal system is directly related to another passion of mine: physical fitness. When attending a D.O. school, not only do you get the traditional four years of medical school education, but you also get chiropractic training or what DOs know as manual manipulation. Osteopathic medicine places such an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system because they believe if your body is in correct alignment, it can help you heal. I see manual manipulation as a very valuable learning tool as a doctor. To be able to move a back bone into proper position you need to think of what muscles, veins, arteries and connective tissue surround it what a fantastic way to learn and directly apply anatomy! I see manipulative medicine and just another way to solidify my understanding of the human body, in addition to being another tool I can pull from in my medical tool kit.
3. D.O.s treat illness while also helping patients prevent disease
Osteopathic physicians address their patients illnesses but further believe in the power of educating their patients about lifestyle choices and the mindsets that can lead to better health. I am deeply passionate about educating the community on healthy, happy, living. I hope to be the type of physician who cares about all aspects of my patients lives, not just why they're seeing me. I believe this is the best way to practice medicine and achieve true health.
Whew, now you know as much about Osteopathic Physicians as I do. After discovering these three differences I felt like osteopathic medicine was the perfect fit for my medical education. However, knowing that MDs are much more widely recognized due to their long existence and sheer number, on top of just wanting to be a doctor, I decided to apply for both types of schools. I believe that if I really was suppose to be pursuing medicine God would make it clear what school I should go to, and boy did He ever.
I applied to ten schools total, which is pretty average for pre-med students. Of those schools I applied to 4 M.D. programs: OHSU, Creighton, Loma Linda and University of Central Florida. The remaining six schools we're all DO programs: Western University of Health Sciences, Turo, A.T. Still, Des Moines University, Rocky Vista University and Pacific Northwest University. With there being 171 medical schools in America, it was truly challenging to come up with a list of just 10.
After submitting your application to medical schools, each program looks at your application, GPA, activities, MCAT and essays to determine if they are even remotely interested in you. If a school is interested, you are sent a secondary application, where you answer more questions and return with even more money. A handful of schools send secondarys out to all students that meet their minimum GPA. To my shock, I got secondary applications from all ten schools I applied to.
I must give the deserved credit with regard to this posting in part to http://33rdhalifax.ca. I actually got the idea from I little piece I read up on on their website.
Posted in Dentistry Post Date 03/12/2015