Get Into Medical School Pt. III – DO vs MD & Medical School Alternatives

Get Into Medical (or Osteopathic) School Pt. III: Medical School Alternatives and Healthcare Careers

DO or MD?

Should one apply to an MD or DO school? Far too much information exists on the web already for me to get into this discussion. Personally for me, I had offers from both schools; but, the DO school that I chose won my heart when I first visited.  However, I do not recommend it for everyone. I have a specific purpose and mission in life – to serve those of rural and minority communities who do not have ample access to healthcare, health education, etc. Therefore, I cannot recommend someone who loves the city-life, wants a large multi-branched metropolitan office, etc. to go here over some of the other medical schools. Although, I do not think they would be disappointed once they arrived. I’m just trying to shoot straight with ya=)

Anyway, here are some good sites to help you discern between and MD and DO. But,  be warned – some people get pretty heated up still about the discussion. However, most practicing physicians will tell you that the difference in practice is minimal besides the OMT offered by DOs (which some do not even practice upon graduating from osteopathic school).

What is an osteopath or osteopathic medicine?

What is a DO?

Unparalleled Overview of Osteopathic Medicine (extracted from Dartmouth College – my favorite booklet on DO philosophy)

What is a medical physician? (FAQs)

How to be a doctor (medical)

So, as you can see from even the AMA (American Medical Association) website itself, whenever asked about the difference between an MD and a DO, the reply is quite simply: “A DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) is a physician just as an MD is a physician.” Therefore, please do not get caught up in all the hype that you may here undergrads talk about when they only have minute, trivial knowledge on the matter – instead, ask the largest association of physicians – both MDs and DOs – around (the AMA).


Below are the links to apply for medical or osteopathic colleges in the United States:

TMDSAS (Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service)

AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service)

2014 AMCAS instruction manual free download

AACOMAS (American Assoication of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service)

2014 AACOMAS instruction manual free download


Caribbean Medical Schools (most often known about; however, others exist):

St. George’s University

Ross University

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

– Caribbean Medical Student’s Blog: Diary of a Caribbean Med Student


Other Healthcare Options:

AHEC Health Careers in Georgia Online Booklet

Even though this book was made specifically for Georgians, it is thorough and replete with knowledge.

Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Health Occupations Handbook (healthcare)

This is published by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics; therefore, these numbers are official and matter! Even if you know what field you are going into, it is always good to check the projected outlook (growth rate, etc.) for the next few years.


*Interesting Fact*

Some health professions allow you to enter their professional schools for licensure without having completed a bachelor’s degree (i.e. Podiatry schools and Pharmacy schools). You only need to have completed the minimum requirements and 90 semester hours. Check around and see!


*Next Blog* I will discuss the difference between MD and DO admissions committees,how they view applicants a little differently, and what the ideal applicant would look like for each. And, now would be an excellent time for you to read my blog on “Must Have Books and Free Downloads for Pre-med Students

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