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California Osteopathic Ban?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by SpineDoc, Mar 24, 1999.

  1. SpineDoc

    SpineDoc Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    19
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    Mar 12, 1999
    Los Gatos, CA
    Anyone know why the ban of osteopathic physicians in California occurred in the 60's? This seems so absurd. The number of D.O.'s in California certainly reflects this sad time in history. Why would then osteopathic doctors agree to swapping their degrees for M.D. degrees?

    Another question. Has the AOA sought to gain full practice rights in Canada?

    Darrell

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  3. 2003

    2003 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 10, 1998
    In Canada it's done by province. Many provinces have full practice rights for US-trained DO's as a rule and other provinces require you to petition the provincial body for the right to practice. In Ontario, it is very difficult to get a license whether you are an MD or DO b/c of the oversupply.
     
  4. edgar

    edgar Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 1, 1998
    Pomona, CA
    Darrell,

    There were many reasons for the merger, and I think a major reason was that DOs in California felt insecure in a sea of MDs and thought their opportunities would be better if they bought a $60 MD degree. And it was a big blow to osteopathic medicine in the state and many DOs were unsatisfied by the result because they were still uneligible for specialty certification because of their osteopathic postgraduate residency program. And even though UC Irvine began as a DO school, even the DO professors who taught there got kicked out by MDs who went to an MD school.

    The AMA wanted to destroy the osteopathic profession, and that is the only reason why they banned new licensing of DOs by closing down the osteopathic school (College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Los Angeles)and the DO hospitals that used to be in the state. And if you look at CVs of some MDs, you will notice they got their degree from the "California College of Medicine". These are actually DOs who got MD degrees out of the merger (more like a hostile takeover by the AMA of the DO profession in California). So if you look at the census, there are actually more DOs than you see on the official rosters because several thousand former DOs now have MD degrees. This did not work in the 60s and will not work now, I don't think DO schools will ever offer MD degrees because the AMA would never allow it unless they get converted to MD institutions.

    History is interesting, isn't it?


    EDGAR
     
  5. SpineDoc

    SpineDoc Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    19
    0
    Mar 12, 1999
    Los Gatos, CA
    Edgar,

    After the reinstatement of the osteopathic profession in California they started COMP, but what happened to the D.O. hospitals? Why were D.O. hospitals not allowed to return? I guess the AOA was not 100% victorious.

    I'm a California native and I was very naive of osteopathic medicine until I went to school in Arizona. I volunteered at Tucson General Osteopathic Hospital for a year or so. I thought it was interesting working at such a hospital.

    I guess I find the history of various health professions interesting. I especially find osteopathic medicine interesting because of it's close origin to chiropractic in the mid -west. I'm a chiro student. Another interesting profession is naturopathic medicine. Anyways, thanks for the response.

    Darrell


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  6. Lee

    Lee Sleestack Staff Member Administrator 10+ Year Member

    11,047
    1,816
    Dec 31, 1999
    Edgar, you're close on the CA history, but the reasoning behind it is pure osteopathic revisionist history. But that's not your fault, this is the story that is given to all of us in medical school.

    And now, the rest of the story...

    In the 60s, MDs noticed that they were becoming a profession of specialists -- they needed primary care docs to give them referrals. Well, DOs back then were usually primary care docs, but being DOs, they kept patients in their professional community, and wern't sending a lot of referrals the way of MDs. Of course, this was the case because DOs were being shut out of allopathic institutions.

    The California Medical Assoc. felt that the solution to this was to unify the medical profession. The CMA recognized that DOs and MDs were essentially the same -- the only difference being manipulation and philosophy. The DOs and MDs in the state joined together and put forward the idea of unification of the medical profession -- it wasn't a hostile takeover by the AMA.

    Understandably, the merger did not settle well with the AOA -- it was a threat to those who work for the AOA (they'd be out of a job) and those who feel that osteopathic medicine is unique enough to merit a separate profession and degree. The AOA made a forceful effort to block further state mergers and to harm those DOs that had converted to MDs. Their efforts were clearly successful, as there has never been another merger and California now has 2 osteopathic medical schools.

    I'd also like to point out that no osteopathic hospitals or colleges were shut down -- these facilities were converted to allopathic institutions.

    I hope that clears up a few points for those interested in our California history.

    Best regards,
    Lee



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    Lee Burnett, DO
    www.osteopathic.com



     
  7. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 9, 1998
    Largo, Florida (USA)
    About three years ago when I started my premedical work at Stetson University, I did some sociological research on osteopathic medicine for one of my classes. I uncovered an additional, and quite fascinating, theory regarding why M.D.s sought to absorb D.O.s in California. According to this theory, the M.D.s of the time were finally beginning to realize that their over-emphasis of specialty medicine was beginning to financially hurt their practices. Basically, as the number of California M.D. specialists increased, the referall base of primary care physicians did not. And at that time it was unethical for D.O.s and M.D.s to consult or refer to one another. So, one solution was to politically absorb D.O.s (who were predominantly primary care physicians) into the allopathic profession and in doing so make it ethical for two divisions to refer to the M.D. specialists. They did this and, for the most part, it worked. The M.D.s filled the gaps in their own primary care ranks with D.O.s and the specialists' practices flourished.

    Interesting (and sad) event in osteopathic history.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    265
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    Nov 9, 1998
    Largo, Florida (USA)
    LOL, Dr. B, we posted our similar responses at the same time.

    So I guess this was osteopathic history in stereo? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    156
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    Mar 8, 1999
    To the original poster, a great book for you to read to get the details of all that was discussed above is The D.O.'s Osteopathic Medicine in America by Norman Gevitz published by Johns Hopkins. I bought mine at Barnes & Nobles on the web. I read the whole book and found it fascinating. I will be attending UOMHS this fall. It is funny because when I decided to pursue medicine, I did not even know what a D.O. was. I had seen D.O.s practices, but just thought they were some sort of M.D. specialist. I had no idea until I looked more into becoming a physician. I believe the AOA (or whatever osteopathic medical organization) needs to get more information to the public concerning the osteopathic medical profession. There is a lot of ignorance surrounding it, in my opinion. What do you think?
     
  10. rhillstr

    rhillstr Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 2, 1999
    Downer's Grove, IL
    You guys almost forgot the most important part. CMA had to declare the degrees (DO and MD) functionally equivalent in order to sell the cherished MD degree to them. This was one of the largest victories to the AOA despite the loss of about 250 DO's and the California school. Because of the aknowledged equivalence AOA was able to use this as fuel in state legislationa and successfully lobbied the rest of the state to grant full practice rights. Eventually it came full circle and California was reestablished. Rob Hillstrom (premed DO hopefull)

     

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