The Covid-19 pandemic made it all the more clear how necessary compassionate and empathetic healthcare workers are. Furthermore, according to data published by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care. This is due to a variety of reasons, most notably population growth and aging, as many physicians are nearing retirement age. Capable and passionate physicians are more needed than ever. If you have a love of science and want to make a difference in the lives of everyday people, perhaps a career in medicine is right for you!
Pursuing a career in medicine is both difficult and rewarding. Throughout your undergraduate career, you'll have to excel both academically and gain a wealth of experience in a variety of settings (both clinical and non-clinical). While that can sound overwhelming, with a bit of planning, the right resources, and the help of your support system (to include your pre-health advisor), the goal of attending medical school can be achieved!
To become a physician, there are 2 degree paths:
- Doctor of Medicine (MD)
- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
Both allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) programs allow you to practice medicine, but the training is slightly different.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), "Osteopathic medicine is a distinct pathway to medical practice in the United States. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of treatment known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine [focuses] on health promotion and disease prevention. ... Today, more than 25 percent of medical students in the United States are training to be osteopathic physicians."
According to an article by Medical News Today, "Allopathic medicine is another term for conventional, or modern Western medicine. It is an evidence-based system where doctors and other healthcare professionals treat symptoms using conventional medications.
Unlike complementary medicine, allopathic medicine relies on clinical examinations and screening to confirm a diagnosis, focusing on a person’s symptoms and signs before treatment.
Conventional (allopathic) medicine treatment modalities include pharmacological drugs, surgery, and radiation therapies."
- For MD Programs
- For DO Programs
- For Both Programs