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AOA's efforts

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by turtleboard, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    Can anyone provide the non-osteopathic with an update on how the Unity Campaign is going?

    I would think that the marketing firm the AOA hired did a study and figured they'd hit a specific population, because I haven't seen one DO ad anywhere.

    In regards to the recent Sopranos' comment, the AOA letter does seem to want HBO to add an osteopathic component to a future Sopranos episode in hopes of educating the lay public. Does anyone think this is a little ridiculous?

    Perhaps the AOA should make its effort a little more generalized.

    Tim Wu.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. drusso

    drusso Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 1998
    Over the rainbow
    They've targeted women between ages 30-50 because apparently marketing research reveals that these individuals are responsible for making most health care related decisions. Hence, ads have been running in Oprah's magazine, Woman's Day, etc.
  4. RDJ


    Public relations and spreading the word about osteopathic education/medcine is part of the AOA's job.

    Think of it this way, The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines spend millions of dollars each year in recruiting. They quite often jump at the opportunity to serve as technical advisors on, or to officially endorse, movies that place the military in a good light. Remember "Top Gun" and "Navy Seals," the year these movies came out, it did wonders for Naval recruiting.

    So, why should the media consultants at the AOA, not try to get some free advertisement from a medium that reaches millions. They have snuck little comments into "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Star Trek: Voyager," why stop there?

    By the way the original ads were in ?O: The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, The Family Plus Edition of Reader's Digest, and American Baby. The ads are designed to target the 34% of American women ages 35-54 and will promote the important areas of medicine to this group, such as gynecology, internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine.? Tim, I doubt you are an avid reader of any of these.
    Here is where you can find a more direct answer to your question about status of the campaign in general:
  5. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    Wouldn't the profession benefit more from having the rest of the American public know what a DO is too? Sure the healthcare decisions in a household may be made by the average housewife aged 30-50, but in a world where the academicians dictate who's good and who's not-so-good, shouldn't the AOA target them and try to change their opinion?

    I guess I'm confused about what kind of image the AOA is trying to put out there for DOs. Are they trying to get a larger share of patients? Or are they trying to make "osteopathic physician" a household kind of thing where EVERYONE knows what a DO is?

    It would seem to me that they're going for the former rather than the latter. Some may argue that, well, these housewives may be able to accurately communicate to the rest of their families what DOs do and what they are, but is the AOA willing to chance that? I mean, seriously speaking, just how many DOs themselves can explain what they do and what they are? [​IMG]

    Tim Wu.
  6. roesnerna

    roesnerna Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 2000
    gainesville, FL, USA
    Thought I would add my two cents. I hadn't heard anything about this marketing idea by the AOA until I read this post (guess I'm in my own little cave right now).

    From what I am understanding, the AOA's move in the 30-50's age bracket of women is an intelligent one.

    1) Mom most often is in charge of which and what type of physician the family (their children, spouses, and elderly parents) will see. By educating these women (not just housewives keep up with Oprah, Redbook, etc.) about D.O., they are trying to bring D.O. primary care into the mainstream. Obviously with exposure will come education and a better understanding of D.O.

    2) Medicine is unfortunately becoming more and more of a business. Of course D.O. is trying to get a larger "share" of the patients. If they didn't have any, they wouldn't exist. I don't believe that this compromises the physicians ability to provide the necessary medical care that is required.

    3) As far as targeting the Academics (do you mean the MD's academics) is concerned, I've haven't heard of too many people seeking out the advice of a researcher/professor etc. for most of there physician referals. Most of these referals come initially by word of mouth when a family enters a new community, not through academia. In addition, I don't think that the "Academics" are the ones who need convincing. As a matter of fact no one I have spoken to requires convincing, just exposure to a type of medicine that they have been looking for for a long time

    Tim, I believe that you might find many osteopathic physicians who would be more than happy to and able to explain what it is that they do and how they do it. In addition, it may not be important what the D.O. can tell you...they may not really know what they are doing that is so different. However, I will bet you that if you talk to some of a D.O.'s patients, they will tell you exactly what you want to know.


    [This message has been edited by roesnerna (edited March 30, 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by roesnerna (edited March 30, 2001).]
  7. I think Tim can explain what a DO does better than half the DOs I know. [​IMG]

  8. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    The sad thing is, Stinky, you may be right. [​IMG]


    No, the academicians I speak of are not necessarily MDs.

    DOs suffer from a lack of recognition from the scientific community. The profession's hallmark, OMT, is grounded in principles that have yet to be proved scientifically to the satisfaction of all academicians -- MDs, PhDs, etc. Many DOs will concede that OMT works, but they haven't been able to prove it. I think the last BIG effort to scientifically prove OMT was by Denslow in the '50s/'60s, who carried out his research with the help of physiologists at Columbia University.

    Needless to say Denslow was unable to complete the research to the level required by the scientific community. Today's osteopathic physician may be sitting on the greatest system of medicine available. But who believes it? No one who matters in the academy and in science.

    The AOA's effort should be focused on research of OMT and the osteopathic approach to patient care, and not convincing moms to bring their kids to a DO rather than an MD. Five years ago the AOA used to tout figures which showed 5% of American physicians hold a DO, but they delivered 10% of healthcare in the United States. Why even both with raising that any more? Will raising its "share" to 15% make DOs more legitimate? Nope. How many osteopathic medical schools out there are engaged in active research in purely osteopathic concepts? I know NYCOM and PCOM are currently involved in major osteopathic/biomechanics projects. What about the other major DO schools? What about ALL the DO schools?

    DOs have convinced a significant number of Americans to consider their services over the MD's, but the DOs still need to convince the rest of the world.

    Tim Wu.
  9. Dr. P

    Dr. P Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2000
    New York, NY, USA
    Convince the rest of the world of what!? I think a great part of the "problem" is that, just as it is difficult to explain certain medical concepts to PhDs, not because they aren't intelligent or can't understand them, but because they didn't go to medical school and, therefore, do not really speak the same language as a physician if you will, in the same way, it is difficult to "explain" or "prove" OMT and osteopathic theory to an MD, in 5 minutes or less. The "proof" for OMT comes, and for the most part has presented a strong body or research not only from osteopathic medical schools, but also from others school who engage in manual therapy, such as physiatry, chripractic and physical therapy.There are research articles regarding the efficacy of specific manual therapies,but the articles are limited to the non-mainstream osteopathic literature, as well as the literature of other manual medicine journals. Most MDs arent even sure of what physiatry is, and it is the closest thing among MDs to OMT. As far as the philosophy, prevention and a holistic approach are now en vogue among allopathic schools. The difference is now historical; they were always enunciated by osteopathic medicine, from its inception. As far as the amazing moment when "DOs prove the somatic dysfunction and the OMT technique that fixed it" to the world, it's not going to happen that way. MD's don't recognize somatic dysfunctions in their patients because they can't; they were never trained to. What is evident to a DO as a somatic dysfunction, in the presence of a universally-recongized pathphysiologic state, will go unseen by the MD (and many a DO's) untrained (or long-forgotten) eye. There is no magic to OMT, there is no voodoo, there is long hours of skill-development and a different focus on the physical exam. It's like teaching Spanish literature to a student who only speaks English. I work with an MD internist who is "amazed" every time I treat thoracic outlet syndrome or a headache using OMT. Meanwhile, I know many an FAAO would probably "kringe" at my comparably rustic technique, compared to their skill. It is all realtive. I think the osteopathic profession should stop trying to "prove" OMT to the allopathic world. Personally, I think MDs should learn OMT. It is as valid as surgery or Ob. How do you do Surgery research? By introducing a new surgical approach. And, at first, only a handful of surgeons are apt enough to perform the new technique. Once it is shown to "work" ie; patients get better, more and more surgeons learn it. Same with OMT. At first the technique developers are good at it. After it proves itself to work on patients, then other DOs learn it. THe proof is in the results. It is easier to compare OMT to surgery than pharmacology. As such, OMT research should follow those lines, rather than trying to mimic pharmacologic research.
  10. Chris_Topher

    Chris_Topher SeƱor Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 29, 2000
    very far to the left
    Regarding your mention of the Sopranos flap, it does seep stupid that we are demanding an apology. I would be more embarrassed by a statement at the beginning of the show saying "we would like to apologize to the weenie osteopaths who can't take an occasional jab..."

    We need to stand on our own merits, and take responsibility for both our strengths and weaknesses.
  11. drchrislareau

    drchrislareau Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2001
    Marcy, New York, USA
    I agree with Dr. P's analogy between OMT and surgery. Surgery is a manual therapy based on the scientific method backed up by good research. Now that the Unity Campaign has run its course maybe we should direct our attention to research.

    The problem is that Osteopathic Research does not get its share of research dollars. Is this because the profession is not applying for grants? Are our best practitioners not interested in performing research? Are students getting involved in what little research that's being done? Is the profession doing anything to train osteopathic researchers?

    OMT built our profession. Maybe we should be working to provide clinical evidence of its efficacy to ensure the continued success of our profession.

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