Hi ! What advise do you have for a freshman in undergrad, wanting to pursue a graduate degree in med school ? Thanks !
Major in something you love - you don’t have to major in science in order to get into med school.
Do well in all your courses. It is very difficult to recover from a poor quarter/semester.
Check out your local library for some books on how to get into medical school and sites such as: http://www.medschoolready.com/app/default.asp . They will explain the entire process to you step by step. We’ll be happy to answer questions about different aspects of getting in to medical school, but the process is way too complicated to do it justice in a post.
I’d say the biggest things are :
1 - Make sure it’s the right path for you.
2 - Enjoy the ride!
After that, the rest is logistics. As Amy suggested, learn about the process so you’re not going into it blind.
The only other thing I’d recommend - that others may or may not agree with - relates to extracurriculars. Do what you’re seriously passionate about - not just what you think med schools want to see. Sure, feel free to dabble, and try things for any reason… you may even find something you love that way. But whatever you do, do it sincerely.
Thanks. Would it help if I volunteered with a research prof during undergrad ? If I contribute to a research paper ?
I would suggest only doing what you want to do and enjoy doing it…well. Although certain things perk up adcoms, you don’t want to spend x amount of time on a project you have no interest in. If you have more of an interest in volunteering at a hospital, activist group, American Red Cross…do that over contributing to a research paper you have no interest in. During your undergrad, you will surely find what you like and don’t like.
If you do have an interest in research and preparing publications, go for it.
how do DO doctors compare to MDs ? is there a difference in salaries ? careers later ?
is it easier to get admission to DO schools than regular med schools ? thanks !
I am gonna answer this one with disclaimers galore
- I have only been involved in middle America, the great plains, not on either coast or upper midwest
- I have been in med school for 3 1/2 years so I just know the “feeling” at the time 2003
Both MD & DO are both medical doctors…
Here abouts (Kansas midwest) they do the same residencies, our counterpart across town is the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
I have been in clerkships in which they participated with us here in Wichita…
I know several of their students, I find without exception they are SHARP, I secretly wonder if my prep is as good… They know everything I know plus the manipulative stuff (I fell on the ice during the clerkship… the DO students saved my a$$)
At one time their MCAT was not a high (it made no sense at the time and I don’t know if it is even true anymore)
I know that KCUMB’s facilities are nicer than ours…
but is it easier to get into
but is it easier to get into DO schools ?
are their salaries the same as MDs.
do they have the same career paths as MDs ?
Here’s a brief little summary that I hope answers your questions. Disclaimer/caveat/etc - I’m neither MD nor DO; my perspective is my own; others here are likely more qualified to answer; this is not intended to be an exhaustive comparison or to hurt anyone’s feelings; please wait 1 hour before swimming; not to be used as a topical cream; in case of optical bleeding, seek professional attention immediately.
In the US these days, there is not a whole lot of difference between DOs and MDs. Each is considered a Doctor, and each is qualified to perform the same duties - so the career paths (and salaries) are the same.
DOs have the opportunity to practice OMM; the extent to which they include this in their practice, of course, varies with their specialty and personal choice.
As I understand, certain allopathic residencies are more challenging for DOs to get into, but I don’t know if that is a big thing, or whether it will still hold true in a few years. Foreign countries may consider DOs differently than MDs.
There still seems to be the general belief that DO schools are numerically (GPA/MCAT) less stringent, and that they consider the “whole person” more than MD schools. I would imagine that this is something to consider on a case-by-case basis.
I, along with everyone else, answer this with a disclaimer that this answer is just from my personal experience and is not meant to be a broad brush answer to paint an entire picture.
I personally have been treated by both DO’s and MD’s, in outpatient settings & surgical settings. I can tell you that the care I received from the DO’s was at the same level as the MD’s. I know a person locally who is a DO and made the comment to me that DO’s seem for some reason to channel into Emergency Medicine or Primary Care moreso than other fields of medicine, that it seems like that really is their specialty and where they flourish. Now that could be simply her opinion based on the mindset of the colleagues that she is around, or it could be a fairly accurate but generalized field survey of the route DO’s take. At the hospital I shadow frequently, there are DO’s in the surgical fields there, so I don’t see any difference in terms of their actual “occupation” within medicine.
Both DOs and MDs are physicians and there is no difference between them in scope of practice or salary. DO schools are probably a little easier to get into, but you must know what a DO is and why you’d want to become one; if you go into an interview at a DO school treating it as your “safety backup,” they’ll sniff that out and you’ll be rejected.
Since you’re a long way off, you’ll have plenty of time to consider both MD and DO school options. You’ll find that there are things about many DO schools which are a little different from the usual MD school:
- at many DO schools, third- and fourth-year medical students move around to their different rotations; this isn’t as likely in an MD school.
- DO schools are mostly private and therefore expensive; there are only a handful of state DO schools.
- There are many fewer DO residency slots than there are DO residents and so DOs and MDs are competing for slots in MD residency programs, and this can be a disadvantage for a DO student.
- DO schools often put a big emphasis on primary care and a somewhat larger proportion of DOs do primary care residencies. This can be considered a hardship if their loan burden is high due to having gone to a private school, as primary care doctors generally make less money than sub-specialists.
hope that helps
Thanks for the feedback.
If I do the first two years of undergrad in a satellite facility of a college and then transfer/move to the main campus during the junior year, will this hurt my resume when it is time for me to apply to med schools ?
like for example: uc has another facility called rwc. i would like to do 2 years at rwc and then transfer to uc. thanks !
I think it will be unanimously agreed upon here that it is always best for you to take your foundational science pre-req’s at the University level if at all possible. I have spoken with two admission advisors who said, in a very political way “while we don’t exclude candidates for admission who have taken junior college science courses, it’s always recommended to take your science courses at the highest level possible.”
So, I gather that to be that it is in my best interest to take the sciences at the University level.
Just my two cents.
gpb, by “uc” are you referring to the University of California system? Because in California it is expected that you’ll do your initial coursework in the junior college system before transferring to the university system. To the best of my understanding from hearing people discuss this for YEARS, California is the only exception to the “4-year U. is better than CC/JC” rule for medical school. The California college/university system is set up to help people move through while allowing the maximum number of people to take advantage of a great education.
So if you’re talking about California, your plan is fine. If you’re talking about some other state, the usual advice to go to a 4-year school is importance to consider.
I would also throw in there that it might depend on exactly how transcript credits from this “satellite” school appear on a transcript. I took many of my pre-requisites at a branch campus of Ohio State University. I specifically asked if they were considered to be any lesser than taking them at the main campus and was told no. In fact, on my transcript, it doesn’t even specify that I took the courses at the branch campus.
Hi ! I was talking about the university of cincinnati and the satelite junior university is raymond walters college, which is closer to my house.
i have not asked how the transcripts will show up. but i was under the impression they would be from uc.
i will find out today. thanks !
rwc is the regional campus of univeristy of cincinnati. so, will rwc count as a junior college ? thanks !
Hm. I’ve browsed RWC’s website and I’m still not sure. It appears that RWC is more of a junior college affiliated with UC than an actual branch campus. I think you may need to do some calling to RWC, UC and maybe even UC’s college of medicine. I would start by seeing if you can talk to a pre-med adviser at UC. I say start with the adviser at UC because advisers at junior colleges are notorious for telling people that their classes will transfer no problem to the four year school, count the same, yadda yadda yadda. A pre-med adviser at UC should be fairly honest with you as to how credits from RWC will transfer to UC, how they will show up on a transcript, how the medical school views it. At the very least, they ought to be able to tell you who to contact at UC or the medical school in order to get those questions answered.
If they tell you at UC that RWC is considered a junior college and NOT an actual branch campus, then I would probably not go there. Although junior colleges in Ohio have improved quite a bit in quality, there is still quite a stigma attached to them as far as not being very rigorous.
Do some more digging with the folks at UC. If for some reason you HAVE to start at somewhere like RWC before going to a four year institution, then try and take general education classes there and save as many of your pre-reqs as possible for the four year institution.
Hope that helps.
Here is the reply I got from rwc admissions: Raymond Walters College is UC, it is a branch campus.
Thank you for your email.
Office of Admissions
University of Cincinnati