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Which type of Medical School should I apply to? MD vs. DO



A guide to building a career in healthcare

Medicine as a profession is full of responsibility and demands a great deal of time. Thus, students must make a well-informed decision for a rewarding career in the future. If you’re deciding on becoming a successful physician, an insight into the traditional medicine degrees is a must. In-depth knowledge of different types of medical programs and their impact on residency, career, and salary is vital before getting into a medical school.

So, let’s start with two accredited types of medical programs- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and Doctor of Medicine (MD). DO and MD are two types of accredited doctors that are eligible to practice medicine in the United States. Now that you have learned about the types of medical programs, let’s understand which is best for your career.

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

Osteopathic medicine believes in a whole-person approach to hands-on care by looking beyond the symptoms of patients. Osteopathic medicine takes a more holistic approach to the well-being of patients by considering nutrition, environmental factors, and their impacts on patients’ health.

In essence, this medical program focuses on the interrelated units of body systems, promotes the practice of allopathic medicine, and emphasizes preventive care. These physicians are licensed to practice medicine and surgery across the United States.

As per the American Medical Association (AMA), a matriculant pursuing a DO program is required to participate in an additional 200 hours. Therefore, nearly 75 percent of students consider pursuing an MD program.

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Doctor of Medicine is the most common medical degree obtained by physicians in the United States. An MD program emphasizes contemporary and research-based medicine to cure patients. Students pursuing an MD degree are trained in allopathic medicine. This medical program equips students with the skills and competencies to use medications or surgery to treat patients’ illnesses.

MD programs focus on the signs and symptoms of the patients, while a DO program takes a more assertive holistic approach in treating patients and keeping their illness at bay.

Now that you have understood the primary difference between an MD and a DO program, look at the medical school admission requirements of allopathic medicine.

Entry requirements for MD program

Do you have what it takes to become a successful physician or MD? This blog highlights entry requirements for an MD program in top-tier Caribbean schools.

  1. Applicants are recommended to take the MCAT to prove their efficiency. However, taking the MCAT is compulsory for applicants with outdated required science coursework older than five years. Applicants with science coursework from a community college also need to take the MCAT.
  2. US or Canadian applicants can either have at least three years of undergraduate studies or the equivalent of 90 semester-hour from a renowned university.
  3. Non-native English speakers need to prove their proficiency in reading, writing, and communication in the English language. Therefore, applicants need to take the TOEFL to demonstrate their English ability.

Please note that entry requirements for medical schools will vary, and you are encouraged to check directly with the institutions you are interested in. Apply now!