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  • Writer's pictureJimmie Lewis III

Your Path to Medical School

When most people think of medical school, they tend to think of allopathic schools. Osteopathic and podiatric schools offer the same medical training, but the approach is different. It is essential to consider all paths when planning to apply to medical school. Please view the first blog of the Lavish Podiatric Journey Application Series to see what kind of medical doctor you would like to become and if you meet the qualifications.

M.D – Allopathic Medicine

MDs are medical doctors. They are required to have a medical degree and a license, and they must also complete a residency in their field. They may work in hospitals, medical clinics, or a doctor's office, and it's common for them to work evenings and weekends. Those who work in hospitals may work overnight shifts as well. Medical doctors are responsible for providing medical care to their patients by identifying the cause of their medical issues and determining the right way to treat their condition. They may be involved with treating illnesses or providing care for people who have been injured.

Job responsibilities of an MD include:

  • Assessing the patient's condition

  • Ordering medical tests

  • Reviewing test results

  • Prescribing medications

  • Referring patients to specialists

  • Updating patient records

Application Service:

D.O – Osteopathic Medicine

D.O.'s are trained to have a more holistic approach to medicine and follow a medical philosophy called osteopathic medicine. D.O.'s are trained to consider a patient's environment, nutrition, and body system as a whole when diagnosing and treating medical conditions. For example, they're required to take an additional 200 hours of training in osteopathic manipulative medicine – the practice of manipulating musculoskeletal tissue to relieve pain – versus an M.D., which would, in theory, suggest taking pain relievers. D.O.'s learn osteopathy while earning their degree. Compared to allopathy, it focuses more on treating the body as a whole instead of treating specific conditions. Students of osteopathic medicine learn how to evaluate people with the same tools and procedures that students of allopathic medicine do. However, they also learn how to use osteopathic manual medicine (OMM), sometimes called osteopathic manipulative treatment. This involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, or prevent injuries or illnesses.

Application Service:

D.P.M – Podiatric Medicine

To become a podiatrist, it is necessary to complete a doctoral degree in podiatric medicine. Podiatrists must also be licensed and complete a residency in their field. They are specially trained to treat patients who have issues related to their feet. This can also include diagnosing and treating problems with a person's ankle, the knees, or the lower part of their leg. They diagnose the patient's condition and prescribe or perform treatment for their condition. Many podiatrists are trained to treat the patient as a whole person, integrating care of the legs, feet, and ankles, to meet the patient's needs in ways that support the entire body and the patient's ability to live a full life. Think of it this way: if your medical doctor spent 40 hours a week studying the whole body, then only 1 or 2 of those hours were devoted to learning about feet and ankles – maybe even less! A DPM, on the other hand, spent nearly all 40 hours studying feet and ankles. That means a podiatrist has better medical knowledge and more experience to fix your Achilles tendonitis, your broken foot, or any other foot and ankle condition.

Job responsibilities of a podiatric physician include:

  • Talking to patients about their medical concerns

  • Examining patients feet, ankles or the lower part of their legs

  • Ordering tests

  • Teaching patients how to care for specific medical issues

  • Arranging for patients to see specialists or other medical experts when necessary

  • Operating on patients

Application Service:

Good luck to all students applying this cycle and I wish you the best of luck. Stay tuned for Day 2 of the Lavish Podiatric Journey Application Series!!!!!!!!!

Comparison Chart:

Comparison chart shows differences between MD, DO and DPM programs.

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