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Where Do I Belong?



You finally decided that you want to become a doctor.  You’ve probably thought that becoming a doctor means your last name is followed by two letters: “M.D.”  Allopathic medical schools will grant you the more common M.D. degree but another type of school, osteopathic medical schools, confer D.O. medical degrees.  Allopathic and osteopathic medical schools both will allow you to realize your dreams of becoming a doctor so what’s the difference between the two schools and degrees?

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Both types of medical schools fully prepare their students to become competent physicians in fields from surgery to family medicine, but they differ in their philosophy and training.  Before you decide for or against applying to osteopathic medical schools, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you like the osteopathic approach to patient care?
Are you the kind of person who is comfortable being a minority or different? (D.O.s comprise only 5% of all physicians in the US.)

      • Will you feel frustrated or inadequate if you have to explain to a patient who has never been to an osteopathic physician before what the D.O. degree is and what osteopathic medicine is all about?


Active Physicians 44731 737504
Average GPA for Applicants 3.48 3.67
Average MCAT Scores 26.19 31.1
Medical Education Length 4 years 4 years
Number of Schools 26 13
Special Techniques Used Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Rotations Students spend more time rotating in primare care residencies
Board Examinations COMPLEX-USA, (USMLE optional) USMLE
Residency Most are located in the Midwest Across the country

Even once you know you're interested in medicine, there are many decisions to make. There are traditional medical careers and non-traditional careers. The choices range from traditional medicine to research to nursing to homeopathic medicine to international medicine. We hope to provide you with some profiles of various medical specialties and descriptions of alternative medical careers to help you figure out where you belong in the medical field.  Click here for our Physician Speciality Profiles page.



Contact PCPR

General Contact:
Vy Tran

Mailing Address:

Premedical Career Pathway Research 
PO Box 19456
Stanford, CA 94309 

Phone/Fax: 626-487-6797

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