View Full Version : Is this true??
06-10-1999, 07:17 AM
I have heard that D.O.s in some states are allowed to use M.D. after their name in order to avoid confusion. After all, a D.O. is everything an M.D. is but more. For example, Ive read a post in the past regarding a person whos family physician advertised as M.D. in the phone book, but D.O. at the office. In any case, if anyone could further elaborate on the issue, it would be appreciated. I have read many posts where people have accused D.O.s of wannabe M.D.'s . Lets grow up. Dont waste your time writing this bull**** , because it is definitely not the case. Just curious.
06-10-1999, 07:45 AM
If it is BS why do you want to know if DO's can say or advertise that they are MD's? If you really want to be a DO, be a DO and don't look for examples of things that make you feel more comfortable getting the DO degree. So many people qualify their remarks by saying DO is everything an MD but more or I am looking into MD and DO school but really like the DO philosophy more. If you really like the DO philosophy and believe in it so much only apply to DO schools because they are on average easier to gain admission. Not easy, but easier. Making remarks like the above to me just shows insecurity about the decision to attend DO school. People like Gullick ,while I may feel are goodie-goodies have strong convictions about wanting to attend osteopathic medical school and you never here them posting questions like the one in this thread.
06-10-1999, 08:31 AM
No, it is not true.
Sometimes telephone printers, hospitals, HMO's, clinical laboratories, etc inadvertantly put the MD degree behind the physician's name instead of the DO degree. This is a mistake and a responsible physician would call the error to the perpetrator's attention. I think the rumor you are hearing is a misunderstanding of a situation that occurred in CA in the 1960's where DO's could "trade in" their DO degree for an MD degree. That situation no longer exists in CA or anywhere else.
There was a court case somewhere in the Northwest a while back where a DO from a small town tried to argue that he should be allowed to use the MD degree the same way as do some foriegn trained physicians in his community who hold medical degrees unrecognizable to the general public. The court shot him down and the AMA, AOA, as well as allopathic and osteopathic state medical societies, sided with the court.
06-10-1999, 09:31 AM
drusso, I thought that physician was granted the right to advertise himself as an MD, but the AOA since then has taken measures to prevent further incidents like that from the DO community. Am I wrong?
By the way, I say that if you study medicine at a DO school, at least show some backbone and some loyalty even if you don't really subscribe wholeheartedly to the philosophy. It's people who don't acknowledge the DO degree that confuse the public and fail to make DOs more visible in our society. Most people, myself included, don't particularly enjoy having to explain themselves and their qualifications when time can be more productively spent doing other things, but the story will have to be told by someone at some time. Why not now and why not us?
06-10-1999, 10:44 AM
I personally don't see the problem with discussing my qualifications as a physician to my patients. I recently shadowed a DO who helped get me into DO school and asked him how often people ask what his DO degree means. He says he has to explain himself almost all the time, but doesn't see anything wrong with it. He feels that any dialogue between a doctor and a patient is good, and takes it as an opportunity to introduce the patient to his training and the osteopathic philosophy. I agree with DOPhD that you have to have loyalty to your profession, once a DO you will always be a DO. I have met another DO who is the opposite end of the spectrum, he went to CCOM and considered himself a graduate of a "regular medical school." He says he never took to OMT and doesn't feel it is useful, which is a shame because he is a geriatric specialist (these patients have many musculoskeletal ailments). I'm thankful to be given the opportunity to become an osteopathic physician, and I only applied to DO schools. I think people who are DOs and try to hide it by identifying themselves as "Dr. or M.D." are really insecure and will not enjoy their medical career because people will ask about it if they can identify you as a DO.
[This message has been edited by edgar (edited June 10, 1999).]
06-10-1999, 12:13 PM
It was my understanding that it was a lose/lose situation for the physician: The MD's didn't want him saying he was an MD, and the DO's didn't want him saying that he was an MD either! I'll have to dig up the article in The DO to be sure...
06-10-1999, 02:03 PM
After reading some of the posts on this thread I thought I might add that Dr. Steve Salvatore, D.O. who does all the CNN medical reporting always identifies himself as "Dr." and never is referred to as "D.O." I don't know if this is his preference or just CNN trying to prevent confusion. Seems like it would be a big boost to the degree if he would identify himself as a D.O. He is constantly reporting on some sort of medical news. The strange thing is that immediately after his reports CNN advertises their website called "webMD".
[This message has been edited by DO DUDE (edited June 10, 1999).]
06-10-1999, 06:14 PM
just an FYI: WebMD is not CNN. They are a separate company. I used to work for them, so i know.
06-10-1999, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the correction...(still seems a little ironic though)
My relatives that are MDs don't introduce themselves as John Smith, M.D., but as Dr. John Smith, so why would Salvatore? Just a point. Maybe they do want to avoid confusion, but if that is the case they should take the opportunity to educate the public. Also, on the web site it is evident that Salvatore is a D.O. Yes, it would be a great public awareness boost. But, that's the media for you. ABC News talked about holistic medicine one night and osteopathic medicine wasn't even mentioned.
Concerning DOs getting MDs in the 60's or whenever, according to Gevitz book The DOs, it is because the AMA wanted to integrate the DO schools and in California it happened. One of the UC schools used to be a DO school. It ended up that it was a bad move by the California DO school, so the rest of the DO schools never did so again. Basically, this is the story. Read the book for details. As far as DOs putting MD after their name. Why? You earn a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree and MDs earn a Doctor of Medicine degree. We have the responsibility to educate the public that is not aware of DOs.
06-11-1999, 12:03 AM
Thanks for the responses. However, the reason for doing this, as insinuated in the original post, is to allow D.O.'s to be recognized as full and complete physicians by those who are still ignorant, and yes many are. If one is not aware of what a D.O. is, then looking for a doctor in the phone book would only drive this person to search for M.D.s rather than D.O.s and or M.D.s. Of course, the problem lies in a lack of public awareness.
06-11-1999, 09:12 AM
I didn't mean to imply that Salvatore shouldn't refer to himself as "Dr.", but that it would help public awareness if he would take the opportunity to refer to himself as an osteopathic physician now and then. The easiest way to do this may be to interview a D.O. about a healthcare subject, perhaps usefulness of OMT, and mention his own connection with the profession.
06-11-1999, 10:25 AM
I have to agree with DO BRO. The problem is not educating one's own patients. If they are already in your office, or if they were referred to you by a colleague or are under your care in the hospital, they already ASSUME you are some sort of physician, so you are just "filling in the blanks" in terms of informing them what exactly DO stands for.
Informing family and friends is relatively easy, because they give you the benefit of their time to listen to what you have to say. As for the general public, when you say casually to someone that you go to a DO school or are a DO, and they say "like a chiropractor, right?!", you don't always have the time for a lecture on osteopathic medicine. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you only have time for a comment such as "No, DOs are fully licensed physicians just like MDs." Then, it is up to the person to believe it or not. And for many it is hard to believe this kind of reply these days, when chiropractors, for instance, go around advertising themselves as "primary care physicians" (GAG ME WITH A SPOON!!!!!). A lot of people know that, despite what chiros say, they are NOT "real physicians" (and they truly aren't). So,us saying "oh, DOs are physicians just like MDs", doesn't do much.
IMHO, it is the AOA's job to educate the public as to the meaning of these two letters after one's name. Personally, I was not too thrilled with the latests efforts, because they were way above the attention span and understanding of your "average Joe patient". And they sounded like DOs go around saying that they are just as MDs and then some. It was somewhat disparaging towards our alopathic colleagues, in my view, and even though there are MDs out there that refer to DOs disparagingly as "lesser qualified physicians", this hasn't been the stand of the AMA for a long time now.
I think that the AOA should emphasize more the issue that DOs are fully trained physicians, point. So when someone sees DO after a Dr.'s name, he will consider being seen by the doctor as he would been seen by a MD. It is when that person is finally in your office, as a patient, and you use osteopathic manipulation on him/her that the occasion arises to explain the "DO difference".
Just my point of view.
06-12-1999, 02:48 AM
Finally, someone understands the point I am trying to get across. Very well stated UHS2002!!
06-17-1999, 07:30 AM
I second that...very well stated UHS2002!
Are you ready for your MSII year? I'm about to be an MSI at KCOM and can hardly wait! I also interviewed at UHS and was on their alternate list. But, I am committed [read that as bought a condo and already moved to K'Ville] to KCOM.
Best of luck and success to you in the future!
'Old Man Dave'
KCOM, Class of '03
06-17-1999, 10:02 PM
Thank you Dave. I am sorry you are not coming to UHS, as I said a while back in one of my postings, from the things you write you would have been happy at UHS and the school would have gained by have someone like you in attending. Good luck at KCOM. If you are a golfer, you may cross paths with UHS again, as you may have an opportunity to represent KCOM against UHS in the annual golf tournment between the two schools :-)
I am ready for the second year. There is one very positive thing to be said about being an MSI: IT IS OVER!!!!!!!!