Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas, Fort Worth

For anyone interested - this hospital is closing -

This brings up a few questions…
How “secure” are DO programs? I’m not looking to make this into a DO vs MD post. I’ve read post on the issues with DO residency programs and a couple closing down without much notice to their students. A number of residency spots lack the patient load to train their DO’s. Are these real problems or just some disgruntled DO’s who would have preferred to be MD’s?
Sure…I know the PC answer is to say that all docs are trained the same and the final word is the patients. The issue is that discrimination exists and having favorites and agendas exist as well. I’ve recommended to friends who were accepted at both MD and DO to go the MD route because as minorities they would have to prove themselves and DO “might” be something else to hold against them. Sure they have to prove themselves as MD’s but everyone knows what an MD is…
Forgive me but I have nothing against DO’s. I just question why all the DO schools are private and expensive as hell. With the increase of non-trads applying it just seems convenient the popularity of DO programs as well as the expense. I’ve spoken with MD’s who feel anyone can become a physician as long as they’re willing to pay the price of tuition DO schools are charging. Then when you cough up the dough with loans you go to a program which is closed and then…???
I’m sorry but this is a discussion forum and I figured this would remain intelligent and cordial versus what I find at other forums.

Notice from the article that ONE of the program’s affiliated teaching hospitals is closing.
Remember that because a DO is a physician there is no requirement to complete a DO-only residency. Our very own Old Man Dave is an anesthesiology resident at Dartmouth, a competitive residency program where he went toe to toe with MD graduates to secure his spot. So be sure to separate DO school from DO residency. That may help a lot. You may or may not have to take the USMLE as well as the COMLEX for some residency programs, but people do it if they have to.
I’m not familiar with the peculiarities of history, politics, education, and medicine that may be involved in the number of DO and MD private schools and the fact that the overwhelming majority of public schools are MD, so I can’t help you there. But all the private MD schools I’ve looked at are expensive as hell, too (Creighton, for example). I am not worried that any osteopathic med school is just dangling out there as a cash cow for some larger organization. You should look at the COMLEX pass rates and residency placement stats of any DO school that interests you, but you should do that for any MD school (USMLE pass rates) that interests you, as well.
There are MDs who look down on DOs. There’s no doubt about it. I have no doubt there are MDs who don’t know the difference between a DO and a chiropractor. If that worries you, then it is worth working extra hard to get the MD you prefer.
I plan to bust my behind to try to get into one of my two state med schools because I want to minimize my debt. If one of them were a DO school, I’d still bust my butt for it before I forked over an extra $10,000 a year or so for my education at a private MD school elsewhere. But it’s academic for me; or I hope it is. I hope I get to pay my moderately low tuition right here in Wisconsin and only owe $100,000 or so when I finish.
Good luck with your decision. It’s a toughie. I’m sure OMD will be along soon to give you his viewpoint. There may be strong opinions on this forum, but that’s not the same as a flame war. I love the way people here are polite in the way we wave our torches and pitchforks.

Yes that is but one program affiliated with the school however those are 10 residencies that are now gone. How many programs accept just the COMLEX versus having to take both.
I’m not sure why you would state that “the overwhelming majority of public schools are MD…” They are all MD. There are no public schools which are DO which confuses me with the family practice paradox of DO schools. I’ve read and spoken to a few adcoms and they push the FP and how it’s what DO schools are all about yet at $46k/year for a state resident it’s not realistic. I can attend Harvard for the price of Nova.
Your comment on not knowing the difference between a DO & a chiropractor is also cause for concern. The holistic propaganda I’ve been given is…insulting to say the least. I’ve had MD’s painted with a broad stroke of only symptom treating automatons and DO’s take the entire patient into account…??? Perhaps when things first started but the MD’s I know are equivalent to the DO’s in terms of approach.
Your statement that you are attempting to enter the lower costing MD schools kinda shows one of the issues I’m talking about. You don’t care about the type of medicine taught but the price and since DO’s are on par with the other private schools then you’re going to be a MD cuz of price.
I don’t fault you for your decision but that’s one of my points. If cost is a decision then DO’s would be out but then so would most MD private schools.
I’m not looking for a fight by any means just would like the thoughts of the other OPM’s on the forum. I’d like to make a decision based on more than just the finances but they do play a big role.
To be continued…

According to a local news report the hospital has been unable to compete with the larger organizations for HMO reimbursements.
One can deduce that the hospital had too many low income patients for its financial well being. It’s not clear that their problems had anything to do with their emphasis on osteopathy. I wonder if anyone on this forum can enlighten us.

Just an FYI…


Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine & Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine are both state sponsored institutions. In addition, I believe the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine receive some type of state support (thus the tuition break and acceptance preference for “resident” students.)


I’m not sure why you would state that “the overwhelming majority of public schools are MD…” They are all MD. There are no public schools which are DO which confuses me with the family practice paradox of DO schools.

By law, any state medical school in Texas has to accept 90% of its state residents. The other 10% can be from out of state. The University of North Texas Health Science Center (TCOM) is a part of the Texas state system.

I looked at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine website and found that “out of state” applicants must sign a letter of admission. Finally, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Oklahoma State University are- as the name implies- state schools.

I’m glad to see that the assumptions passed to me were incorrect about all DO’s being private. Still doesn’t negate the questions I have besides the state sponsorship but I am glad to see I was wrong about all DO schools.


With the increase of non-trads applying it just seems convenient the popularity of DO programs as well as the expense.

Can you explain a little more clearly your concern expressed here? I’m not sure I’m getting it and I may have been trying to answer a question you didn’t ask.

Schools seem to cater to not so much to a community need but a financial one. If there is money to be made then programs are developed, endorsed and pushed with little regard for the end product…except that it produce more. The DO school in my state graduates over 200 students every year. My comment is with the increasing non-trads entering the medical field there seems to be a push for them to look at DO programs, which ain’t the cheapest. My experience is limited to the one DO program offered in my state which is almost double the cost of the private MD school. IMO, it seems a bit…abusive?..for a student to have to pay for not having stellar GPA or MCAT with double the tuition. I guess if he/she wants to be a doctor then they have to literally count the cost. Again, this is one DO program in one state but it is what I see to be occuring with the students at this school. Many wanted to be DO’s, others accepted it and then there are the ones bucking it. Many (12-15) leave after first year for MD schools…which they have to start from scratch again. I don’t know…I just have a problem with a school charging such an amount and it’s students are scoring under the national average on the COMLEX.
I’ve been recommended DO schools even before GPA or anything else is presented. When I question this “they” say that “well DO programs prefer non-trads…” and the statement continues along those lines. Just get this “conspiracy” thing happening everytime I mention I’m quitting to become a doctor and “hey, ya know…there’s DO schools for guys like you…”???
Please understand that I have nothing against DO’s. The issue I have is with the money required to become one I just have to be sure on a number of things before applying.

It sounds more like you’re having a problem with the knee-jerk “You’re old, gotta go DO” advice you’re getting in some places. Off the cuff advice like that is worth about as much as other stuff that you find on sleeve cuffs, like, oh, say, snot. Don’t let it get your goat. It’s not a conspiracy; it’s just the conventional wisdom, and it’s up to you to investigate it and find out if it’s bull. If you already know that the particular DO school near you has higher than average tuition and lower-than-average COMLEX scores, then that just means you’re shopping wisely. If more than one or two students are dropping out of your local school every year to go elsewhere, then I do consider that a very bad sign–of that particular school, not all DO schools.
Though DO schools are mostly private and mostly not as well-endowed as Harvard so can’t cough up as much aid, I don’t know of any proprietary (for-profit) med schools in this country. I’ve worked in academia (public colleges and universities) for almost twelve years now and worked in a proprietary school for two and believe me, you can tell when a school is actually making money off its tuition. You can almost smell the difference.
DO schools do have a reputation for taking a long look at other qualifications beyond GPA and MCAT scores in the admissions process, but MD schools look at the whole person, too. There may be different cutoffs, but your GPA (at least going forward) is largely under your control, and you can influence your MCAT score enormously if you prepare well and carefully. That students with lower scores still have a chance to go to med school is a good thing, in my book.
Take your time, explore your options, and don’t apply anywhere that feels wrong to you, no matter what well-meaning strangers or friends may say. It’s your life and your money.

Perhaps it is a bit of knee-jerk on my part as well. I am just awe struck at how people one minute don’t have the slightest clue what it takes to get into medical school and then in their next breath…“hey there are these schools called DO which I’m sure will accept you…”. I’m like WTF! We haven’t discussed GPA, MCAT or anything else so I would have to agree it’s the old conventional “wisdom”. Sheeesh 32 and I’m over the hill…
The thing with the first post is also in speaking with a DO who had a classmate have her residency disappear from under her when the hospital lost its accreditation. The school I’m talking about had the Dean present the fact of lower than average COMLEX scores as though this was no big deal. There are other issues like the schedule required to be kept. 8am-5pm…When I read of Efex at Mayo and other schools with more “realistic” schedules I wonder who is making these decisions. When exactly are you supposed to study when you are in school all day? Yes…I know at night…however with the amount of material this would translate into 8 hours in school and what? 16 studying which leaves no time for a little thing called sleep. I’m sure the initiation into medicine does not mean going on zero sleep for the first two years of school.
Anyhow, I keep asking questions and finding answers. As of right now my state’s DO school is not appealing at all.

It’s irritating, especially the fifth or sixth time you hear the same advice. It’s hard to remember that people mean well and actually want to help you. It’s a lot better than “What the heck’s the matter with you? You’ll never get into med school! Who’d want to be a doctor these days, anyway?” It’s all a matter of perspective, and perspective is VERY hard to maintain while you’re going through this whole process. Hang in there!

The first thing you need to do is quit butting into my conversations with people. Those people who said “you’ll never get into med school…” knew me when I graduated high school with a 1.9GPA and they of course had a 3.something…I was in all AP classes but lazier than sin and they had basket weaving but I’m not one to complain
I’ve gotten just about all the comments I thought I’d get…some I didn’t expect to get. Some from a pre-med “advisor” that because of these comments is making it easier NOT to do my course-work at their school.

I just want to practice medicine and cut on people is that too much to ask?


The first thing you need to do is quit butting into my conversations with people. Those people who said “you’ll never get into med school…” knew me when I graduated high school with a 1.9GPA and they of course had a 3.something…I was in all AP classes but lazier than sin and they had basket weaving but I’m not one to complain

I think the picture is never as simple as one issue. Reimbursement is hitting the medical profession hard, whether private practice or hospitals. Then there are the political issues which have always been present, between MDs and DOs. The AMA is a powerful force and doesn’t like others encroaching on “their” territory. I personally applied to both MD and DO schools, though I was appalled at the tuition at the DO schools. As it is, I ended up in the MD track, however, my PCP is a DO, from the aforementioned school, and he is the most thorough physician I have ever had. He very likely saved my life 2 years ago after I came back from Bangladesh with difficulty breathing, and with little clues otherwise, he quickly got me to ER with a diagnosis of DVT with PE. I think people spend way too much time thinking about MD vs. DO, US vs. offshore, etc. If your passion is to be a physician and you have done your research regarding the school you are going to attend, in the end, you will still be doing what you want, and the initials behind your name or school name on your diploma won’t matter a whit. In the end, it’s still each person’s own sweat and blood making it happen.

One of the Adcoms from TCOM will be at UT Arlington Monday the 25th. If I hear anything, I’ll pass it on.

I attended the Texas school - it’s affiliated with the University of North Texas - it’s a “real” health sciences center in the middle of Fort Worth. Tuition is of of teh lowest in the nation, for what it’s worth ,and I had absolutle no problem getting into my residency of choice, neither did any of my friends. (Many of whom got into highly competitive programs. Also - allopathic hospitals have also closed at an accelerated rate over the past 20 years or so - it’s not just an OSteopathic phenom.
Bottom line - If you want to become a doctor and aren’t so narcissistic that you can’t possibly consider going to a DO school - by all means APPLY TO BOTH TYPES OF SCHOOLS!!!

WOW! Welcome to the Old Pre Med’s. A little emotional for your first post, don’t you think?

Welcome! Always happy to hear from a doctor who loves his/her school!