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Preparing for a Career in Medicine

Getting Started

Have you decided to pursue a career in medicine? These resources will answer many of the questions you may have about pursuing a career in medicine and the process of applying to medical school.

Allopathic Medicine vs Osteopathic Medicine

Students who wish to apply to medical school have a choice between allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) programs. While there are differences in curriculum and pedagogy, in the state of Georgia both a DO and MD will receive the same medical license and privileges to practice medicine.

Allopathic Medicine (M.D.)

Allopathic medicine refers broadly to medical practice. The term allopathy was coined in 19th century by Samuel Hahnemann to designate the usual practice of medicine as opposed to homeopathy.  Allopathic medicine is defined as “a method of treating disease with remedies that produce effects different from those caused by the disease itself”.

If you are interested in practicing medicine as a MD, the most authoritative resource is the Association for American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The AAMC is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools, nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, and 90 academic and scientific societies.

For many pre-med students, the AAMC's website is the best place to begin learning about the process for becoming a physician.

There are 4 allopathic medical schools in Georgia:

  1. Emory University School of Medicine
  2. Medical College of Georgia
  3. Mercer University School of Medicine
  4. Morehouse University School of Medicine

Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)

Osteopathic medicine involves a holistic or "whole-person" approach to healthcare and osteopathic physicians receive specialized training involving the musculoskeletal system. Specifically, osteopathic treatment usually involves a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in all 50 states. They practice in all types of environments, including the military, and in all types of specialties, from family medicine to obstetrics to surgery. However, the primary focus of osteopathic medicine is primary care.

For students interested in learning more about osteopathic medicine, theAmerican Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)serves as a valuable resource.

There is only 1 osteopathic medical school in Georgia:

  1. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Georgia Campus)

Osteopathic medical school prerequisites and the application process, including the MCAT, are similar to M.D. schools.  Their centralized application is AACOMAS.