They’re both doctors but allopathic or MD doctors and osteopathic or DO doctors have several differences that you should be aware of. In this video, I’ll go over the differences between allopathic and the osteopathic tracts and training and help you decide which one is best for you (Music) What’s going on guys,? Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com For those of you who don’t know, I earned my MD from a California medical school. You can learn more about my own story on my vlog channel, linked in the description below. Let’s first go over what an osteopathic doctor is. Osteopathy was started in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still an American doctor. He coined this practice of medicine as Osteopathy reasoning that the osteon or bone was the primary originator of many pathological conditions. Since this origin, the doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or DO degree has always been less common than MD counterpart. Today, it constitutes approximately 7% of all practicing physicians in the US. DO doctors have equivalent rights, privileges and responsibilities as those with the more traditional MD and while less popular than allopathic MD schools, the popularity of do schools has been on the rise. There are now over 30 DO schools in the US compared to over 140 MD schools. Constituting approximately 20% of all enrolled medical students. So what’s the difference between an MD and a DO? Let’s start with the curriculum. Osteopathic medical school curricula are nearly identical to the allopathic medical schools. Just like allopathic medical schools, the first two preclinical years are focused on building a core foundation of medicine in the classroom. The latter two years constitute a medical students clerkships with training in similar specialties to allopathic medical schools. Including Internal Medicine, OBGyne, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Surgery, Psych etc. However, in addition, DO schools provide 300 to 500 hours in the study of hands-on manual medicine referred to as osteopathic manipulative medicine or OMM, for short. The thought is that this body manipulation can bring about systemic healing. This is largely an antiquated idea with many osteopathic physicians moving away from these pre scientific ideas. Some of my friends are in DO medical schools and while I can say that some of the manipulation is credible and impressive, some of it is absurd quackery such as craniosacral therapy. In craniosacral therapy, the thought is that light touches by the practitioner over certain bony prominences can alter the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Definitely not buying that one. Next, let’s talk about exams. To get into an osteopathic medical school, you still have to take the MCAT. However, in osteopathic medical school, you take the COMLEX exam rather than the USMLE. DO students can also opt to take the USMLE step exams if they do desire to enter an MD residency after completing medical school. But the more important thing to note when comparing MD and DO schools is not the exams during Medical School but rather the competitiveness of exam scores in getting into Medical School. DO program matriculants have lower average MCAT scores and lower average GPAs If you’re not competitive for traditional allopathic medical schools, then osteopathic medical schools are a great option and this brings us to the next point which is the downsides of an osteopathic degree. Unfortunately, the DO isn’t respected to the same degree as an MD. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either not telling you the truth or is not in touch with a reality. Considering osteopathic medical schools cover the same content as allopathic medical schools and then some more, there is no good reason for the DO to be less respected than the MD. However, this is the reality of the situation. I postulate that the lesser respect for the DOs originates from two factors. First, it’s less competitive to get into DO schools and most of the strongest, most competitive applicants go to allopathic MD schools. The second factor is the questionable or non-existent scientific basis of some practices such as the craniosacral therapy, I talked about earlier in which you alter the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Now what this translates for you is if you go to a DO school, your options may be limited when it comes to residency. In some specialties such as plastic surgery, it is nearly impossible to match if you have a DO. So for example, the year I matched into plastic surgery residency, I believe there was only one osteopathic medical student who matched into plastics as well and this was considered a huge deal, but that being said, if you are interested in primary care, it will make much less of a difference. That is unless you’re shooting for a top internal medicine program. These top internal medicine programs are also very competitive and DOs are at a sizeable disadvantage. So now that we’ve gone over the differences between the MD and the DO, let’s go over who osteopathic medical schools would be a good fit for. First, if you are interested in primary care or other less competitive specialties, a DO may be a good option. Be aware however that you may be limited from getting into a top residency program. Second if you’re interested in OMM, osteopathic medical school is the place to learn it and third, if your GPA and MCAT are sub-optimal, it may be more challenging to gain acceptance to a traditional allopathic medical school. Osteopathic medical schools are a great option to increase your chances of receiving that acceptance. Now if you need help with your medical school application and you want to maximize your chances of getting into a top allopathic or osteopathic medical school, visit MedSchoolInsiders.com For those of you who have been following the channel for some time, you know that I’m highly systematic, efficient and an effective doctor. We applied those same principles at Med School Insiders. We offer top tier services backed by a highly systematic methodology that produces results. Take a look at our testimonials, our results speak for themselves. I’d love to hear down in the comments below if you’re planning on applying to MD schools, DO schools or both. What are your thoughts on the limitations of having a DO versus an MD? As always, thank you all so much for watching. If you liked the video, make sure you press that like button. New videos every week So hit subscribe if you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one.