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A question for the medical community

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by Jbuprepharm, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Jbuprepharm

    Jbuprepharm The Poopsmith 10+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    I am a pharmacy student with a question about medical degrees. In pharmacy, we all get a PharmD(or however one wishes to abbr. it), but in medicine, there are (as you all know) two degrees, the MD and DO. Now my question is, and it's purely superficial: why are they not a DA and a DO, or both an MD? This might be a stupid question, but it popped into my head earlier and I figured this might be a good place to ask.

    Doctor of Medicine = went to allopathic school
    Doctor of Osteopathy = went to osteopathic school

    Is it just become MDs were around first and they made DO's distinguish themselves? I'm genuinely just curious
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
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  3. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    Degrees for whatever are more suited for Topics in Healthcare rather than an Allopathic medical school forum. People who are attending allopathic medical schools are getting the MD and theoretical questions about other degrees are better suited for Topics in Healthcase.
  4. cpants

    cpants Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    M.D. = Medicinae Doctor or Medical Doctor
    D.O. = Doctor of Osteopathy

    It's basically just tradition. MD's came first, and those are the letters they chose. DO's chose to go with their letters. It doesn't really matter.
  5. Patholog

    Patholog Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    You probably just opened a can of worms here.

    MDs did not make DOs distinguish themselves. They did that all on their own. The training used to be a lot different, but nowadays the curricula are very similar, so much so that many DOs are advocating for just what you asked about, making everyone an MD, making DOs an MD,DO or an MDO, or whatever. Many DOs are for a change, but there are many who are against it as well. I would have to say that most allopaths (MDs) are against any change.

    There is no DA, because in the beginning, right after God created Heaven and the earth...just kidding. There were no DOs when the MD degree was created, so there was no such thing as allopathy, every physician was "just" an MD. The distinction started when DOs came about.
  6. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Back before the Flexner report and the standardization of medical education in the early 1900s, there were many different "philosophies" of medicine, which was only a marginally scientific discipline at that time. These included the allopathic tradition, the osteopathic tradition, the naturopathic tradition, etc...

    As of the 1910s, and the advent of the Flexner report, licensing requirements were standardized according to the allopathic tradition, and the MD degree was the degree awarded to those in the allopathic tradition. Most of the philosophies lost most of their legal power to practice in the US. The DOs managed to maintain most the privelege however. If you think about how limited the practice of NDs (naturopathic tradition) is in the US, you'll realize what happened to everyone else.

    As medicine became more scientific, the curricula of both philosophies become progressively more similar. This is of course because science has mostly trumped philosophy as the core of what we do. Today, the only real difference between the training is that DOs learn manipulation (OMM) and MDs do not. The majority of DOs don't use OMM in practice however, making practice comparisons even more similar. The existance of both as seperate degrees largely continues to exist because both traditions have their own societies, often their own boards, their own schools, their own residencies, and even some of their own licensing exams. Allopathic residencies will take many DO grads now, as their training is essentially the same. Osteopathic residencies have not opened the door in the opposite direction. I hope that this helps. If you're looking for a doctor, it's probably mostly irrelevant. If you were just curious, the answer is pure tradition.
  7. Jbuprepharm

    Jbuprepharm The Poopsmith 10+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    I appreciate the informative posts

    and I apologize for the "making" comment, it probably just came across wrong.

    My question has been sufficiently answered

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