AZCOM student responds to Arizona article about medical schools

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Jun 21, 2004
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There was a recent article in the Arizona Republic about whether Arizona needed a new medical school. I remember the article was posted by Robz in an AZCOM thread on this forum. There was a small swipe against the DO school there and this AZCOM student decided to write his opinion on the subject. It was in the opinion portion of the Arizona Republic.

Article's dismissal of osteopathy is unfair
Jun. 26, 2004 12:00 AM

Regarding the Business-section article about bringing another medical school to the Valley ("A Phoenix med school?" Monday):

I am a third-year medical student at Midwestern University-Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, one of the osteopathic medical schools that was cast aside in your article.

Though I cannot claim to speak for my medical school, I can speak for myself. I hate continually being overlooked as a future medical professional because I don't go to a "traditional" medical school (which really raises the question of "traditional" - seeing as how naturopaths were the original field of medicine - but that's a discussion for another day).

I'm not a chiropractor or an expert in herbs and vitamins. However, I am a medical student who has worked her tail off for two years to learn anatomy, biochem, pharmacology, pathology and how to read an EKG.

And, yes, I have taken an exhausting board exam, just like every medical student at a "traditional" (read allopathic) medical school. I will go on two years of rotations and, if I so desire, I can become an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, an orthopedist, a family practitioner or a urologist. I will participate in rotations alongside my allopathic counterparts in the U. S. armed forces.

And, honestly, I think my patients will like me better - precisely because I will treat them like a person, not a disease.

I'm an osteopath by choice. I graduated with honors and two degrees from my undergraduate institution. I'm pretty sure I could have attended any medical school I pleased anywhere around the country.

I chose osteopathy because it has a philosophy and methodology that appeals to anyone who really wants to work with people, especially those who are ill and/or dying.

To blow off osteopathic physicians would be to blow off a significant, though minor, part of the medical community - doctors who have taken care of people who read this newspaper, doctors who have done all sorts of research and won all sorts of grants for research, and medical students who will become attending residents, doctoral fellows and physicians who will take care of thousands, millions of people.

Sure, it'd be nice to have a teaching hospital - if it accepted all the medical students present. There are almost 300 medical students out in rotations from the Midwestern University-Arizona campus. That's 300 budding plastic surgeons, emergency room physicians, otolargynologists, and obstetricians. Three hundred people who have passed the rigors of medical school, national boards, and state licensing exams.

Don't discount osteopathic physicians. The D.O. stands for doctor of osteopathy - equal to any medical-doctor degree anywhere. And when the osteopathic medical students graduate, you'll know them only as doctor. - Samara Mohamed, Glendale

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