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Medical Doctor (MD) vs Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)

What’s right for you?

That’s up for you to decide but we are here to help provide you information and resources.

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Medical Doctor (MD) vs Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)

What’s right for you?

That’s up for you to decide but we are here to help provide you information and resources.

MD or DO: What’s the Difference?

Where Do They Overlap?

MD or DO: What’s the Difference?

Where Do They Overlap?

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

  • Allopathic medical school
  • Focus on diagnosis and treatment
  • Most popular practice of medicine
  • Majority practice in specializations
  • Takes the USMLE for certification
  • Worldwide recognition

Similarities

  • MCAT required
  • 4 years of medical school and residency
  • Eligible to apply to practice in all 50 states
  • Found in every specialty of medicine

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

  • Focus on holistic approach to medicine 
  • Trained to focus on the whole body and prevention
  • Majority practice in primary care
  • Takes the COMLEX-USA for certification 
  • Required to take an extra 200+ hours of classes

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

  • Allopathic medical school
  • Focus on diagnosis and treatment
  • Most popular practice of medicine
  • Majority practice in specializations
  • Takes the USMLE for certification
  • Worldwide recognition

Similarities

  • MCAT required
  • 4 years of medical school and residency
  • Eligible to apply to practice in all 50 states
  • Found in every specialty of medicine

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

  • Focus on holistic approach to medicine 
  • Trained to focus on the whole body and prevention
  • Majority practice in primary care
  • Takes the COMLEX-USA for certification 
  • Required to take an extra 200+ hours of classes

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Alumni Network Worldwide

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1st-time residency attainment rate for 2023-2024 grads*
*First-time residency attainment rate is the percent of students attaining a 2024-25 residency position out of all graduates or expected graduates in 2023-24 who were active applicants in the 2024 NRMP match or who attained a residency position outside the NRMP match.

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USMLE 1st-time Step 1 Pass Rate from 2018-2022**
**First-time pass rate is the number of students passing the USMLE Step 1 exam on the first attempt divided by the number of students whose first attempt was in 2018-2022. In order to sit for the USMLE Step 1 exam students must successfully complete the Medical Sciences curriculum.

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USMLE 1st-time Step 2 Pass Rate from 2018-2022***
***First-time pass rate is the number of students passing the USMLE Step 2 CK exam on the first attempt divided by the number of students whose first attempt was in 2018-22. In order to sit for the exam students must earn an acceptable score on the NBME CCSE as listed in the catalog.

If You Are Uncertain Which Path To Take, Consider The Below:

Established Reputation

MD programs have a long-standing history and are widely recognized as the traditional pathway to becoming a physician. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) was founded in 1978 and has graduated more than 7500 doctors.

Research Opportunities

MD programs offer abundant research opportunities, grants, and collaborations with renowned institutions, fostering scientific exploration and specialization. Research exposure gained during an MD program is invaluable for advancing medical knowledge and pursuing academic careers.

Find Your Perfect Balance

You don’t have to choose between a high-quality education and a supportive culture. At AUC, you get both. Our ACCM-accredited institution is designed to help students develop into practice-ready physicians with small incoming class sizes*, a supportive faculty, early community service experiences, and curriculum modeled on U.S. med schools.


At AUC, you'll find the perfect combination of a rigorous education and a supportive environment. Join our close-knit community of faculty and like-minded students who are ready to help you succeed.

*Based on average incoming classes from 2022-2023 academic year at the Sint Maarten campus.

3 ENROLLMENT SESSIONS

May 6, 2024

May 6, 2024

September 2, 2024

September 2, 2024

January 6, 2025

January 6, 2025

3 ENROLLMENT SESSIONS

May 6, 2024

September 2, 2024

January 6, 2025

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Global Recognition

The MD degree enjoys global recognition and understanding, making it advantageous for those aspiring to practice medicine internationally. Many healthcare systems around the world recognize MD qualifications, simplifying licensure and certification processes in different regions. The portability of an MD degree provides flexibility for pursuing international opportunities, participating in medical missions, or engaging in global health initiatives. 

According to the American Osteopathic Association, some countries have not licensed a US DO for practice.

Residency Program and Specialty Selection

While both MDs and DOs can specialize in various fields, certain competitive specialties, such as neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and dermatology, are more commonly filled by MDs. The flexibility in residency options allows MD graduates to pursue highly specialized areas of medicine and sub-specialties, aligning with their specific interests and career goals.

How Does AUC Fit In?

We Offer an MD Degree with a Curriculum Focused on the Whole Body.

AUC’s integrated organ systems-based curriculum focuses on learning about the mind and body as a whole. You will learn about social determinants of health, public health, psychosocial and ethical considerations in a patient-centered and evidence-based curriculum. 

As a physician you choose your approach to care- if you value being holistic you can, and should, incorporate this into your practice.

Top Reasons Why You Should Apply To AUC

A Record of Success

AUC has provided medical education for over 40 years and has more than 7,500 graduates.

1:1 Dedicated Support

From your very first day you'll have access to teams and resources dedicated to supporting your success.

Quality Clinical Training

Experience an array of clinical training opportunities while rotating at one of our affiliated hospital sites.

Early Hands on Community Involvement

Students participate in a wide range of community service activities for volunteer projects in Sint Maarten.

Global Elective Sites

AUC students have the opportunity to complete the six-week clinical rotation in one of five countries: Vietnam, India, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, or Zimbabwe.

Accredited MD Program

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM, www.accredmed.org), which is the accreditor used by the country of St. Maarten. ACCM accreditation standards have been deemed comparable to the standards used to accredit medical schools in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I practice medicine as an AUC graduate?

Where can I practice medicine as an AUC graduate?

You'll be eligible to apply for licensure to practice in all 50 US states, Canada, to the UK and beyond.

Are AUC students eligible for financial aid?

Are AUC students eligible for financial aid?

Qualified United States citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens are able to apply and receive, if eligible, federal student loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program, which includes the Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Qualified students can borrow up to the cost of attendance. Students who wish to participate are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Education.

How selective is AUC's admissions process?

How selective is AUC's admissions process?

At AUC, we have rigorous standards when considering applicants. Yes, we look at the whole person—we want to know about one’s life experience, volunteerism, maturity, and commitment—but we also look closely at how a candidate performed academically as an undergraduate and their MCAT score.

Are there scholarships available?

Are there scholarships available?

AUC is proud to have awarded more than $55 million USD in scholarships since 2009. Scholarships are available to those who apply and qualify. Please see our full listing here.

How can I get my Visa?

How can I get my Visa?

If you are accepted, for a legal extended stay in Sint Maarten, you must have your passport stamped with the appropriate student visa from the Sint Maarten government. The government of Sint Maarten, with AUC’s support to facilitate the internal coordination process, will process the student visa prior to the tourist visa stamp expiration date in your passport (from when you first arrived in Sint Maarten). When you arrive in Sint Maarten, you will need to present your passport. You must show proof of a return date ticket.

Do I need to be a premed student to apply to medical school?

Do I need to be a premed student to apply to medical school?

Short answer: No, you do not have to be a premed student to apply to medical school.

“Premed” is not a major, but rather a set of med school prerequisite courses. A premed track  focuses primarily on a mix of math and sciences. Premed programs' course requirements may vary from institution to institution; however, they typically include the following...

FEATURED EVENTS

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"Attending AUC was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. While learning all the fundamentals that helped me succeed in both clinical rotations and residency, I also gained lifelong friendships, family, and unique cultural experiences I’m forever grateful for."

Brian Hachey, MD – AUC School of Medicine, Class of 2013 Cardiology

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American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM, www.accredmed.org), which is the accreditor used by the country of St. Maarten.

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