Are DOs looked down upon on the west coast?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by AUDREYHEPBURNFAN, Dec 2, 2000.

  1. AUDREYHEPBURNFAN

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I understand that you are considered a doctor regardless of whether you attended an osteopathic or allopathic school. However, it appears to me that many MDs, particularly in California look down upon their collegues who have a DO degree rather than an MD. I have yet to see a DO in the ER at UCSF. During the summer, I volunteered at a hospital in southern California and the doctors I met were condescending towards some of their fellow physicians who have a DO rather than a MD degree. The ER doctors I met stated that students from California usually attend osteopathic schools if they are rejected from allopathic schools. In addition, one ER physician (who is a DO), told me he chose osteopathic over allopathic medicine because his MCAT scores weren't high enough to get into an allopathic school. I know in other parts of the US, DOs are more prevalent than MDs. However, in California, it is reveresed. Are Californians less accepting of DOs because of ignorance or is this problem non-existent? I think the skill of a physician all depends on the extent of his training and not the type of school he or she attended.I was just curious what some of you think.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. In the state of California, their is an unspoken rule among MD's that if you see a DO, you laugh in their face.

    Come on, get real. I don't know which hospital you worked in, but there are DO's on faculty at many of the top notch med schools from UCSF, UCD, UCI, USC, and Loma Linda to name a few. Do you think that if they were discriminated against, they would still be there. This topic has been beat to death, and then risen and beaten again. You are very insecure if you are interested in becoming a DO.

    Forgot to mention there is a neurologist DO on staff at Stanford.

    [This message has been edited by LoserAlert (edited 12-03-2000).]
     
  4. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 1998
    Messages:
    6,720
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I don't think that DO's are looked down up on in CA. I'm a native Californian, graduated from UC Berkeley, did research at UCSF, and matriculated to UNTHSC-TCOM in Fort Worth. In CA, I've never encountered any problems with my aspiration to become a DO. There are several prominent DO's in the SF Bay area, including attendings at Stanford, UCSF, Saint Mary's Hospital in the City, San Jose Medical Center, Highland Hospital in the East Bay, the SF and Palo Alto VA's, etc. There are also several DO's in Davis/Central Valley, North Bay/Santa Rosa. Try contacting these DO's and discussing your career aspirations with them.
    http://www.chwbay.org/services/service4b.html
    http://www.wenet.net/~sfimms/
    http://www-med.stanford.edu/shs/PrimaryCare/stanford.html
    http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjmc/fellow/spmedfac.html
    http://pactnet.ucdavis.edu/Consultants/W_Bonekat.htm
    http://neuroscience.ucdavis.edu/psychiatry/faculty/paizis_cheryl.html
    http://famcommed.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/network_residency/programs/redding/faculty.htm
    http://www.alamedahospital.org/physician_referral.html
    http://www.noazortho.com/physb.htm
    http://www.ucsfresno.edu/em/fac.htm

    In a press release from UCSF, the university was proud to mention that it tied MSU-COM and Hopkins in USNWR rankings for primary care!
    http://www.ucsf.edu/pressrel/2000/03/033101.html
     
  5. study buddy

    study buddy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0


    I know this wasn't part of the original question, but just for any other doubters out there - look up the Mayo Clinic website and you'll find more D.O. docs that work for the school.

    At the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, there are 53 (yes, fifty-three) residents there, and there aren't any Family med residents that i can see. In fact, most are specializing in a field. I believe the head of their radiology dept is a DO, too, but I have to check on that.

    In a recent "The D.O." magazine (July 2000), there was an article on the new dean for Des Moines Univ., COM, giving his background. He (Howard Teitelbaum, PhD, MPH, DO) was an attending doc at the Preventive MEdicine Clinic at Yale Univ. and was named Yale University School of Medicine Professor of the Year in 1988.

    At OUCOM, there is an assistant dean who is a oncological surgeon. He did his training at MD Anderson Hospital in Texas (Dr. Keith Watson, DO).

    Dr. Tyler Cymet works at Sinai Hospital and also for Jonh Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine.

    ...the list goes on folks. Just give it up and stop all the talk of inferiority and not being able to specialize as a D.O.. These are all examples I've seen in the last 1/2 year. There are many more I'm sure.
     
  6. BigSkyDreams

    BigSkyDreams Smelly Uncle Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Howdy,

    AUDREYHEPBURNFAN, It is my understanding that the total number of DO's is around 45,000-50,000, making up about ten percent or so of all physicians in the US. Over fifty percent practice (DO) in primary care within a rural area. These two factors combined may contribute to your observation.

    California used to be an Osteopathic stronghold.

    In the early sixties the California Medical Assoc. attempted a take over of the DO profession in CA through assimilation. (For the Trek fan, the AMA was the Borg, the DOs were the Enterprise, "Resistence is Futile") By legal agreements and a sixty dollar fee, DO's could switch their degree to MD in California. Several (now allopathic) universities switched the degree they granted, so depending where you attended you could be at a place with a osteopathic tradition. This followed years of bitterness by the AMA attempting to discredit the AOA and Osteopaths. Very ugly language such an incompetent and endangerment was regularly employed as the Allopaths sought a monopoly over the US medical industry. Their plan back fired in beautiful poetic justice when a small group of DOs challenged the agreement, the ruling of the court was that since the CMA saw the DO as an equal degree then they must be allowed the same practice rights, ie access to hospitals. This ruling of accepting their degrees in Ca, was then used through out the States as DO fought and won the same practice rights in every state.

    In a large part the very existence of the osteopathic profession is because of this power play. It re-energized the profession and it has grown ever since by opening more schools and the placement of DOs in visible positions in the government and in universities.

    An interesting tidbit about how Anti-DO the AMA's stance was:

    The AMA fought and won the barring of DO's from Military Medical Service during WWII even though there was an extreme shortage of physicians.

    Anyway this isn't meant to bring up bad blood but sometimes a knowledge of the past helps to understand the present.

    ------------------
    BSD
    ______
    Work under the assumption that you will be happy one day

    [This message has been edited by BigSkyDreams (edited 12-03-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by BigSkyDreams (edited 12-03-2000).]
     
  7. AUDREYHEPBURNFAN

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I apologize if my question offended anyone.I didn't intend to imply that all DOs are doctors who didn't get into medical school. I have friends who believe in the idea of treating the individual as a whole and they attend osteopathic schools because it was their first choice and not because they were rejected from allopathic schools. On the other hand, I also have friends who are indifferent towards the philosophy and they are becoming DOs because they want to be doctors but were rejected from allopathic schools. I was just curious about osteopathic medicine and I had no intentions of putting anyone down. I'm sorry if my question and comments were offensive. I appreciate the feedback regarding the misconceptions of DOs. However, I don't understand the comment that states I must be insecure if I am considering DO school (posted by LoserAlert). I don't see a correlation between insecurity and having the desire to pursue osteopathic medicine.
     
  8. By asking such a question, I had naturally assumed you were looking into becoming a DO. To worry about what your peers think about you seemed like you were a little insecure. If you are proud of what and who you are, you shouldn't need to seek positive reinforcement from people you don't know.
     
  9. ana

    ana

    Hi, AHF. There are many people in the medical profession in Calif who do in fact look down on DOs. However, it is also true that as the number of DOs increase on the west coast, they are becoming more accepted. In practice, I don't think it affects them. I know of a number of DOs, and they have thriving practices.

    The question for you is how sensitive you are going to be re. decreased awareness of the profession (many people will not even know what an osteopathic physician is). If you go into it, you will simply have to make it your mission to educate people about DOs in a way that is positive and not defensive.

    Not only is it perceived among many medical professionals that a large fraction of DO students are people who could not get into an allopathic institution, it is also a truth. However, this should not stop you from entering the profession if that is your only viable route to becoming a doctor. The fact is, many highly qualified individuals are turned away from MD schools (and let's face it, many wackos get in based on sheer numbers along), and they do just fine in real life as DO physicians.
     

Share This Page