The D.O. Stigma
There is some unfortunate information being passed around the pre medicine and medical school landscape, and it is that D.O. doctors are lesser than M.D. doctors. Now, let me take you through why the D.O. stigma exists, and why I think it is a load of crap.
Why Does The D.O. Stigma Exist?
The reasoning behind the stigma for D.O. doctors is that they are coming form a school with easier admissions. This really sucks, because I have met some really good D.O. doctors and some really good M.D. doctors. I think that it is an unfortunate development in today’s landscape. With every year, more and more students are enrolling in D.O. schools. These schools tend to have easier admissions programs. They tend to admit students with GPAs in the 3.0-3.4 range, whereas M.D. programs tend to admit students with GPAs in something like the 3.6-4.0 range.
Don’t Better Grades Mean Better Doctors?
I think this is where the biggest misconceptions come in. I don’t personally believe that better grades are the sole determinate of a better doctor. While knowing human anatomy better may help some doctors more than others, I think after the doctor finds their specialty, they are all on the same playing field. This is the biggest factor in the D.O. stigma discussion.
What’s The Real Difference?
The concrete difference between D.O. medical schools and M.D. medical schools is the curriculum taught at the schools. The D.O. schools focus more on a primary care doctor track, whereas M.D. schools tend to showcase a variety of different potential specialties. This is the only real difference between the schools. They have the same levels of professors (I mean aside from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and a few other M.D. schools), the same level of difficulty, and they can do the same things in the field of medicine. One of the few differences after schooling is that the students graduating from D.O. may have a harder time getting a coveted residency program.
So, Let’s End The D.O. Stigma
It is sad that some people look down on D.O. doctors. It isn’t just those in the medical community either, people seem to look at a doctor’s business card weird when it doesn’t say M.D. The only way to end this thing is to get the word out that D.O. and M.D. are both excellent tracks of studying medicine. Let’s get the word out, and support those D.O. doctors that have worked just as hard as the M.D. doctors.
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