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A suggestion that I think all of you should take serisously

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by jcharness, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. jcharness

    jcharness Junior Member

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    I have been doing some thinking. What better way to promote osteopathic medicine than to have the schools ranked on US news? Every single prospective medical student looks at those rankings to help determine what medical school they should apply too. I know that some osteopathic schools are listed in primary care, but if osteopathic schools were ranked in a seperate category (like major universitys and small colleges) along with a little blurb on what osteopathic medicine entails I truly beleive that it would promote osteopathic medicine profoundly. Many of you probably think the ranking system is BS, however, it would expose osteopathic medical schools to a far greater number of people. I am going to be writing a letter to the editor in an attempt to have the osteopathic schools ranked. Anyone who is interested and wants the email address send me a PM. What do you think?

    Justin Charness
    American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
    5550 Friendship Blvd., Ste. 310
    Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231
    [email protected]
    voice: 301-943-8794
     
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  3. gerido

    gerido Senior Member

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    It could backfire and damage DO's rep if it ranks lower than most MD school. I don't know much about DO schools, but I do know that quality of education is not the primary factor in ranking... And students don't really give a crap about primary care ranking, so there is your disadvantage
     
  4. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    It might not be that some schools aren't ranked, it is that the schools don't choose to fill out their questionaire.
     
  5. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    Many of them are.
     
  6. MD2b20004

    MD2b20004 Banned
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    Many like Mich. State University's which has both a DO and MD program has its DO program highly ranked amoung the MD programs for primary care on USNEWS.com
     
  7. AngryBaby

    AngryBaby El Hefe

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    Yeah I think there's already enough division between the two degrees, especially from the DO point of view. Mich. St.'s osteopathic pgrm and TCOM are routinely ranked in primary care amongst the the allopathic pgms and I like that integration. I mean, it's all medicine. A separate list should be for apples vs. oranges.

    That being said the rankings are a bunch of cwap, but that's a different topic...
     
  8. medicine1

    medicine1 Senior Member

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    DO schools could be listed, and have a general description of the school, student's opinions and thoughts of the schools; interviews with residents who went to those schools, etc. The ranking could be done by a survey given to the DO students, allowing us to evaluate our schools.
     
  9. Tori's dad

    Tori's dad Member

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    I don't know too many people that make med school decisions based on US news. I'm sure there are some...but I don't know any.
     
  10. vegangirl

    vegangirl DOctor begins with DO

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    WE are RANKED. #4 in the nation baby for primary care!!!!
     
  11. cyclohexanol

    cyclohexanol No, no. Doggie afuera.
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    Aside from the fact that many DO schools are already listed in US news, I'm not quite sure how many people care about US news and their rankings.

    When I applied, my main source of information was the MSAR. Every health professions advisor has this in their office for students to look at, and every MCAT test instructor recommends it to their students. However, the AOA/AACOM or whatever doesn't really have an MSAR-like publication (aside from the website) and if they did, I'm not so sure it would help shed light on osteopathic medicine because only those who know about it would order it (same goes for the website).

    How about trying to add DO school information to a publication like the MSAR. I know this sounds crazy, since the Association of American Medical Colleges doesn't recognize [osteopathic] American Medical Colleges. But if you're going to try to expose more students to osteopathic medicine and its schools, I'd start with something like that.

    And yes, I realize that the MSAR is published by the AAMC and [currently] only lists LCME accredited institutions including those in Canada and PR. But why should the LCME be exclusive to the American Association of Medical Colleges. They already have sections differentiating Canadian LCME accredited schools from US LCME accredited schools, why can't they just add another section for US AOA accredited institutions and include a blurb describing osteopathic medicine?

    Or if that doesn't float your boat, how about an entirely new body that doesn't distinguish between AACOM and AAMC. If they don't want to share information with each other, create a neutral body that will. Then you can replace the current MSAR with one that contains information for both AAMC and AACOM.

    If you want people to become aware of two "separate but equal" licenses, put all the information in one place for them. I don't want to go and read two books to find out about things that are basically the same. I also want to read about these things in the same format. I don't want to have to be reading along about allopathic medicine and processing the data for various schools then have to switch to an entirely different format to learn about osteopathic schools. I want the same exact data for both kinds of schools. It may sound minor but when you're looking intensely at statistics and information for 150+ schools it's really nice when everything is the same.

    But I digress. So I say again, start by combining all of the data for all of the medical schools, allopathic and osteopathic alike, and put the raw data in a big, well-known, trustworthy [read: not US news] book like the MSAR that most pre-meds will have exposure to. No rankings, just information. :thumbup:
     
  12. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    Though I applaud you desire to promote osteopathy I have a few problems with such a ranking system.

    #1. With fewer than 25 american osteopathic medical schools it would appear on paper in a ranking system that there was a large difference between #1 and #20. This may not be the case at all. Look at the overall rankings and you tell me the appreciable differences between the #1 schools (harvard, U wash, hopkins) and the #20 schools (northwestern, vanderbilt, sinai). With fewer schools in the ranking system a divide between the "best" and the "worst" quickly develops on paper though this may not be the case at all.

    #2. Ranking systems are based largely on subjective information and (IMO) useless objective information. USNews will show you that some of the biggest determinators of rank are Research Money and Professional Notariaty. MCAT scores and undergraduate GPA as well...thats a whole other topic

    #3. Osteopathic schools are really in one of 2 categories. The OLD and the NEW...and a few in between. You have your PCOMs, KCOMs and DMU. Then you have your Pikevilles, Touros and LECOMs. How can you possibly compare a 100+ year old school with a 10 year old school when one of the largest factors is "Professional Notariaty"?

    #4. Greater separation of the degrees. From my standpoint this doesnt really matter. Separate but equal, etc etc. But what WILL look bad is when people look at the #1 ranked DO school (lets use PCOM as an example ;) ) and see that its not even in the top 50 "overall". Working against us. Why draw attention to what they already know. (Let me clarify...do I think PCOM and other DO schools compete with these "big gun" MD schools? Absolutely. But with the rankings based on research $$ and other factors that dont favor non research/non university schools, that wont show and we will be working against ourselves.)
     
  13. uacharya

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    I believe DO schools are on the MSAR

     
  14. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    There were back in the day, and are in the copy I own, but have not been in it in recent years for some reason.
     
  15. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    There have to be better ways to get the message out, but they will all require time, effort, and money on the part of all students, residents, and osteopathic physicians. Yeah, I know that a lot of people don't like the AOA, but at least the new president, John Strosnider, DO, has actually asked that everyone start giving in order to finance a large media campaign. He met with us during orientation this morning and told us that he really expects to get 20 million dollars for this. The problem, as I see it, it that that is not even enough-- not when a single 30 second commercial spot in the last Superbowl cost 2.4 million. Still, it's a start.
     
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  17. DOAnestMan

    DOAnestMan Junior Member

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    I never even glanced at the U.S. News listing of Universities/Colleges/Medical Schools, nor do I look at their top Hospitals in America. The whole process is fraught with bias and relies on many factors that are irrelevant to the average student/patient. The listing serves as nothing more than an advertising slogan for the institution listed.
     
  18. FutureNavyDOc

    FutureNavyDOc Senior Member

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    I think if we want to be taken seriously we should spell seriously and other big words correctly. :D
     
  19. jrf331

    jrf331 Back ROW

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    Well navy Doc I agree that spelling big words correctly would help increase our rankings. I think it is one of the many catagories that US News uses to rank schools.
     
  20. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member

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    Justin,

    Why is it that a percentage of DO students somehow feel that it's their God given responsibility to spread the message of "Osteopathic Medicine" given that the respect, practice rights, and career success that we have seen as professionals has been due to our adopting allopathic treatment modalities and not the other way around?

    I'm in medical school to learn to be a doctor and I think that you and the rest of the priests of DO orthodoxy should think long and hard before encouraging naive first years to start tilting at medical windmills. That is to say that even before we discuss what an effective way to spread the message of "Osteopathic Medicine" is, we need to determine whether it has a unique message that is worth spreading.

    I say no.

    OMT? Chiropractic treatment as practiced by the Capital One Barbarians.

    Holistic medicine? That's the sort of thinking that has led poor Abraham to embrace Hoxsey therapy for his Hodgkins, which will ultimately kill him. At the very least, all advocates of holistic (that is to say, nonscientific) therapies should be forced to dance around administration buildings wearing grass skirts.

    Being nice to your patients? That's good bedside manner for all health professions.

    When you start deconstructing the term "Osteopathic Medicine", you realize that you're building a house on a foundation of sand.
     
  21. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    :laugh:


    :rolleyes:
     
  22. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    You really need to take a look at the history of osteopathic medicine before you start bashing it too much. One of the very basic tenets of osteopathic medicne is that "Rational treatments...are to include all scientifically proven therapies." Remember that Still began his search for "scientifically proven therapies" after 3 of his children died within 48 hours of encephalitis. He was an allopathic physician and the treatments known at that time weren't working to his satisfaction. Keep in mind too that allopathic treatments at the time also involved the use of things like arsenic and mercury that we now know to be bad for you. Osteopathic medicine originally used few drugs because the ones allopathic doctors were using at the time were killing people. As more effective "scientific" treatments have become available, osteopaths have incorporated them into their models of therapy. It's not an attempt to "be like the allopaths." Rather, it's an attempt to practice the best and safest medicine possible.

    A lot of people might frown on OMM, but that skin-to-skin contact can tell the trained observer a lot of things. No, there aren't a lot of published studies out there comparing OMT to other treatments, and there may never be. The little I've seen of it in action so far, though, has made me a believe that it has merits. Some of these guys who practice OMT daily are incredible diagnosticians. They can "see" some pretty incredible things with their hands, while most doctors today tend to rely way too much on images.

    Like it or not, osteopathic medicine is spreading like wildfire. In 1969, DOs comprised only 1.6% of physicians, and only 1.5% of first-year med students (at 5 schools) were osteopathic. Last year, following the opening of 20 more COMs (with 4 or more on the way) DOs made up 6.02% of physicians and a whopping 21% of first-year med students-- a figure that will only grow in the next few years. DO isn't going away anytime soon and OMM isn't going away either, nor should it. The one thing that you didn't seem to mention is that there is an increased interest among MDs in OMM these days. Why would that happen unless there really is merit in it?
     
  23. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I think that you're off on this one...

    Osteopathic medicine, when it comes down to it, is a social movement within the larger House of Medicine and should be analyzed as such. That's all, nothing less. When you look at it through that lens you see that osteopathic medicine "is" what osteopathic medicine "does:" Just like the civil rights movement, just like evangelical Christians, just like Hezbollah, or just like The Blue Dog Democrats. And, just like all social movements, people within them affiliate to varying degrees---You'll always have "hard-liners" and "concession-seekers." You have liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats.

    Consequently, a medical education steeped in an osteopathic worldview leads to actual individual differences in attitudes and behaviors. Just like a medical education at Harvard will shape how you think about medicine differently from a medical education at Eastern Tennesse State University. The real question is, "Does this difference matter?" Does it matter to patients? Does it matter to the health care system? I don't think that osteopathic medicine has sufficiently answered that question.

    However, osteopathic institutions, as compared to allopathic institutions, do have real and measurable differences in terms of their support for primary care medicine, tolerance and advocacy for "alternative practices," and most obviously systematic training in manual medicine--which is simply old-fashioned "laying of hands." The osteopathic "orthodoxy" naturally wants to accentuate and high light these differences because they believe they matter. Again, that's the purpose of a social movement.

    The long-term impact of osteopathic medicine, in my estimation, is still undetermined. It's certainly has come to resemble standard biomedical practice in almost all ways (as it essentially always did---even in "the beginning" early D.O.'s were mixing up traditional osteopathy with whole bunch of other business). And, allopathic medicine has changed too maybe as a consequence of osteopathic medicine's influence. I like to tease some of my M.D. physiatry colleagues and tell them that they're "closet osteopaths." They agree! There are OMT continuing medical education courses at M.D. schools.

    Relatedly, I've never understood the strange argument that attempts to legitimizes OMT by dumbing it down to chiropractic or physical therapy. First, OMT is historically older (AT Still did not invent manual medicine so much as codified a set of techniques). And, if you're going to receive manual treatment, wouldn't you want it from the highest trained provider?!? I have nothing against DC's and PT's, but they're not medically-trained. Many, many serious medical problems masquerade as musculoskeletal complaints.

    So, I encourage students and applicants to think about their "osteopathic options" this way: As a D.O. you'll function as M.D. for all intents and purposes; you'll be inculcated and educated in a "worldview" toward patient care that you can accept or reject to any degree you wish; you will be part of a 120 year old social movement and historical tradition in American health care; and you'll learn some useful hands-on skills unavailable to you at M.D. schools which someday might actually be validated within an evidence-based medicine paradigm.
     

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