Question for current DOs

Hi! New to the site and anxious to talk to some current DOs. I’m applying for the upcoming year (2005) and have been doing some research (SDN, school sites etc.) on the various schools. Everyone has their opinion of course, but if you could relate your experinces at your alma mater, I’d apprciate it. (Good or bad!) It’s been tough to try and do a comparison as each seems to have it’s pros and cons. I was hoping a little more “subjective” info would help with the decision. Thanks!

I wanted to say welcome to OPM
Since you are new here you might not know but the founder of OPM is a DO. It is Dr. Dave Kelly, DO. His screen name is OldManDave. I remember when he was in med school and posting on SDN, then he started this site to better serve the older, nontrad students. And we thank him for that.
Again, welcome.

Dat be me!

I am OldManDave, a DO, an anesthesiology resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, founder of OPM & an alumnus of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. And, I would be most happy to answer specific questions. in fact, in the “Medical School Discussion” forum, those of us who are currently in med school or are residents have started threads specific to our schools where you may field questions. Now, if you wish, we may even be able to set up a phone meeting, of sorts, so that we can converse about KCOM - I am one of the alumni/mentors as a matter of fact. In the KCOM thread, I have posted a concise blurb about the school. That should work for starters.

Thanks for responding to my post!
I checked out some of the old posts to see what people had to say about various schools (SDN and here)…for the most part people people had pretty much the same complaints (admin problems, facilites etc.). I guess what I’m looking for is a little more intangible… I mean there were stupid things I had to deal with as an undergrad (U. of KY) but overall I really enjoyed my time there and am glad that I chose a large state school.
Since I really didn’t know too much about the DO option (insert horrified gasp here, you’ll have to give me a bit of leeway, I’m a Yankee and DOs aren’t too populous up here!) I don’t really have a feel for the “reputation” DO schools have. Are there any ones I should avoid? Are there ones that have stronger specific programs than others? I’ve checked out the schools web pages but some of them aren’t particularly informative.
I just thought that the best source would be grads to speak about their schools, after all once you’re out, it’s a little easier to be objective about the experience! Thank you so much for your input on KCOM though, I appreciate the help!

I can’t speak yet from a “been there, done that” perspective - I’m just starting my prereqs at Okla State University with plans on attending OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine here in Tulsa, Okla in 2 or 3 years. What I CAN tell you is that OSU COM is very respected here in Oklahoma. My family doc is a graduate from there and he is the best physician I’ve ever had. My original reason for choosing OSU COM was convenience (I live in a suburb of Tulsa), but considering the quality of the physicians it graduates, I’d choose it even if I lived as far away as Alaska.

Thanks for the input! I guess it’s a little easier if you’re in an area where DOs are a little more prevalent. The NE is just so inundated with MDs/allo schools, you mention DO and nobody knows what you’re even talking about! Best of luck with your pre-reqs!

Well, now…you just mosey on down here to the heartland and stay a spell! It’s always nice when we can teach a Yankee how to talk slower so everybody can understand them. Took a little while, but I finally taught my hubby! (Seriously, unless moving that far away from where you are now is out of the question, OSU COM is worth looking in to.)
Hmmmm…now if I can just convince them to give me a break on tuition for advertising…

In actuality, there are a couple of DO schools in the NE: Biddeford, ME; Long Island (Old Westbury, NY; Philly & NJ. Most likely, the reason you’re not familiar is ‘mass effect’ due to the immense number of MDs in the NE.
There are not truly any “bad” DO schools just as there aren’t any truly “bad” MD schools - the person at the bottom of the class still gets the degree. However, some of the schools will not have strength of reputation that others possess.
Much much more importantly, instead of selecting school to apply to based upon their reputation alone, research them to see if you would be happy attending their program in their location. Med school will be busy & challenging on level you are unlikely to have ever experienced previously. So, for those w/ family or who’ll be away from their native support network, being happy with both program & place are critical to your success.
I know you probably hoped to receive an insider’s list of the schools to avoid so that you could strike them off of your list. However, it simply is not that simple. Invest your time & effort wisely by figuring out where you would be happy & apply to those schools. I made the mistake of applying with a shotgun approach to a ludicrous number of programs - many of which I would have been miserable had I attended there. However, I was very fortunate that the schools where I was admitted would have worked out well for me. I am obviously very loyal to KCOM & for many more reasons than “they gave me a chance”. But, what works best for me may not work well for you.
spend some time in serious introspection about what which learning style works best for you, what environments are best for you, rural vs suburban vs urban & all of those ‘intangibles’ you were referring to…then you can come up with a list of top schools for YOU.
Furthermore, there is very limited value in composing your list from any of the innumerable “Top Med Schools” lists published continually. Many of those polls place emphasis on elements that may or may not be important to you. For example, in some of them, quantity of research dollars is a major factor in the ranking - if you’re not bent towards research, does that benefit you? Not really. And, if that school really pushes it’s students towards research, then you might find yourself feeling pressured to do something you don’t want to do.
Another totally inflated & somewhat fictional parameter - % of graduates going into primary care. This evolved from the predicted & under-manifested shortage of primary care physicians - a politically expedient parameter. So, since Uncle Sam, who doles out much $$, expressed a desire to see more primary care people, this became something folks tracked. If a graduate goes into Int Med, Fam Pract or Peds, they are considered destined for primary care for the purpose of these rankings. Now, to be perfectly honest, a very large %-age of Int Med residents enter subspecialties & a smaller %-age of peds do as well…hence the “inflation” comment. Furthermore, if you do not choose primary care for yourself, where is the benefit?
Take ownership in this process…if you have never taken ownership in anything ever before - do so now. It is a huge mistake to simply follow lists that others create. You need to decide what is best for you & then shop for programs that fit your expectations & needs.