“I think you should go for M.D. because it will be hard for you to be taken seriously if you become a D.O.”
Something like that can be hard to hear when you’ve spent 4.5 years trying to get good grades, build up your resume, and take an entrance exam (multiple times) in hopes of become the very thing you were told not to do. But my mom always told me I wasn’t very good at listening to directions and maybe that was the best “poor” decision I ever made.
During the fall of 2012, I had been rejected by the handful of medical schools I had applied to and was in one of the lowest lulls of my academic career. My friend Avery and I had been applying to medical school at the same time and when I decided to pull out of the process, she told me she was going to continue to apply and include “DO” schools. I remember being extremely confused when she told me this. How was it possible that in the 4.5 years of being premed, I hadn’t heard of osteopathic medicine?
My natural instinct was to Google the heck out of osteopathic medicine and once I did, I realized I had, in fact, been exposed to osteopathic medicine for a long time. Strewn on the walls of the orthopaedic research halls where I worked were plaques with DO’s being recognized for published research, being chief residents, and much much more. I didn’t notice that. While waiting in my doctor’s office, I remember seeing my doctor’s name with the letters, “D.O.” after it. I didn’t notice that. The ortho resident I had been talking to about research all week was a DO. I totally didn’t notice that.
Typically, not noticing things is a bad thing but in this case, I think it goes to show that osteopathic medicine isn’t something too distinguishable from our amazing MD counterparts. But having an extra “tool” in my metaphorical toolkit of medical knowledge is fun. I’ve always had an interest in preventative medicine and nutrition and osteopathy goes together with these interests. I love that I can try techniques for various musculoskeletal complaints in clinic. Anytime a family member of friend complains of pain, I go, “can I try to fix that before you take that ibuprofen?” It’s little things like that, that make me appreciate osteopathic medicine. I hope that someday soon, premeds out there will have mentors that tell them, “why not osteopathic medicine?”
Hi guys! My name is Amanda and I am a 3rd year osteopathic medical student and the face behind the Instagram, CoffeeandScrubs. I’m currently on the hunt for a specialty and in the meantime, I really enjoy coffee, photography, and finding really good places to eat! You can find me on Instagram at @coffeeandscrubs or at my blog: www.coffeeandscrubs.com
There are more than 100,000 DOs in the US, practicing in every medical specialty. Want to visit a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine? Check out the DOs in your area.