From Not Knowing what a DO was, to now being a DO student!

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Session 157

Session 157

In today’s episode, Ryan talks with Amanda, a first year medical student at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Colorado. She went from wanting to do something else in the medical field to learning about osteopathic physicians. She is a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force with an HPSP scholarship so money wasn’t an issue. And perhaps, applying to the same program is something that you might want to consider. Also, we can’t stress enough the fact that MDs and DOs are equal. Unfortunately, we have this dichotomy in our society especially among premed students.

Lastly, Ryan will be creating another podcast that focuses on topics around medical students. So we need some of your great ideas about what to name the current one that focuses on premed stuff and this other upcoming new show. Send us your thoughts and email Ryan at

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Amanda:

When Amanda realized she wanted to become a physician

  • Taking organic chemistry and being weeded out of being a premed
  • Having an initial interest in EMS
  • Started working as a scribe in the ER for three years working with both MDs and DOs
  • Initially using PA as a backup plan until finding the PA path and then realizing she wanted to take the osteopath route

How she went through the application process:

  • She was being asked why she was only taking one class at a time and it’s because she was working full time in the ER
  • Why she decided to take Kaplan

Amanda’s biggest struggle with the MCAT:

  • Sticking on to her study schedule

How did she filter out the schools:

  • Looking at her stats and applying to around 30 MD and DO schools
  • Geography
  • Board scores

The military match:

  • Not enough residency positions for people on scholarship
  • Sponsored residency where you’re able to go to a civilian residency and they will be paid your salary
  • Caveat that you can’t get into the specialty you want
  • All based on points

The benefits of HPSP program:

  • Getting out of medical school debt-free
  • Having flexibility with your life
  • There are many options offered in the military

The biggest thing she didn’t expect during the application process:

  • One of her letter writers had his house burned down at the time he was writing the letter

Resources Amanda used during her journey:

  • Her experience as a scribe
  • Friends who went through the same process
  • Books and the MSHQ podcast

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

  • Look for advice outside of your own head. People can tear themselves down in the inside. If you know for sure you’re going to be a doctor then do your best to be able to get there.
  • It’s one thing if you think you want to be doctor but to know that you want to be a doctor is a completely a different thing. Show that you really want to be a doctor in your interview.

Links and Other Resources

  • Check out our partner magazine, to learn more about awesome premed information.
  • Listen to our podcast for free at iTunes: and leave us a review there!
  • Free MCAT Gift: Free 30+ page guide with tips to help you maximize your MCAT score and which includes discount codes for MCAT prep as well.
  • Hang out with us over at Click join and we’ll add you up to our private Facebook group. Share your successes and miseries with the rest of us.
  • Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep): Get one-on-one tutoring for the MCAT and maximize your score. Get $50 off their tutoring program when you mention that you heard about this on the podcast or through the MSHQ website.
  • Email me at or connect with me on Twitter @medicalschoolhq

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