CNN article

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Duo Degree, Jul 3, 2000.

  1. Duo Degree

    Duo Degree Member
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    Today I read an article on the CNN website under the health headline. The article talked about physicians who perform plastic surgery on patients so that they can look more like their favorite celebrities. When I read further, I noticed the author was targeting one particular plastic surgeon who happened to be DO. I'm not exactly sure if I am reading it correctly, but I do believe that the author is being somewhat disparaging to osteopathic physicians. I'm interested in having others read it and hearing the reactions. Am I reading too much into it?
    Here's the article: http://www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/07/03/plastic.surgery.reut/index.html


     
  2. Devo

    Devo Member
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    You are totally right, the comments are farcical in nature. Nothing to write to your congressman over, but it is dissapointing that CNN would allow such misinformation to be posted. For example:

    "Osteopaths call themselves surgeons" (definitly negative connotation there)

    "has been practicing in California since 1977, but he is not an M.D. and is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery."

    "He is licensed as an osteopathic physician and surgeon and is a member of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and the Osteopathic Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Osteopaths are trained in manipulating the skeleton and muscles. "

    Somebody needs to do a little more research
     
  3. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    It is clear that ignorance is rampant in our media. This is the reply that I sent to Reuters and CNN;

    THe analysis and statements regarding osteopathic physicians is incorrect. They (D.O.'s) are fully licensed and trained in the exact same way that their associates (M.D.'s) are. The "osteopaths" that are being refered to are not the same thing that exists in the USA. Osteopaths are mainly located in Europe and are not licensed to dispense medications. The two main branches of medicine today are allopathic medicine and osteopathic medicine. The word osteopathic is somewhat misleading but after many heated debates, authorities in the profession have decided to keep the name in honor of the founder of Osteopathic medicine and physicians. I suggest that read a book on the history of medicine. As for the physician that performs reconstructive surgery, well that is his practice his life. Who knows, if he is indeed being unethical then he may be stripped of his license. The point is that there are many "wacko" medical professionals. MD and DO alike. I find it disappointing that an excellent news source such as Reuters and CNN would publish a topic in which has clearly not been researched.

     
  4. Test Boy

    Test Boy Senior Member
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    Isn't the guy who does medicine on the CNN news channel a D.O. himself? I wonder what he thought of the article?
     
  5. RDJ

    RDJ

    I must say, the article was pretty weak. It took an issue that really needs some attention (i.e. over/misuse of cosmetic surgery) and turned it into one person's sounding board. The article turned out to be about a D.O., who is not a real surgeon but still operates on people. Ergo, D.O.'s must not be real physicians. Whatever?! I sent this response to CNN and Reuters:

    I am embarrassed and disappointed by your printing of the Reuters article entitled Surgeon wants to make you look like a star, July 3, 2000; Web posted at: 11:45 AM EDT. It is not the subject of the article that concerns me. In fact, I am quite concerned with the number of surgeons who perform this type of superfluous procedure, in addition to the growing number who have begun to do cosmetic surgery on teenagers.
    What disturbs me about your article is your blatant misrepresentation of Osteopathic Physicians. Among some aging Doctors (especially in California; see your medical history book if you do not get it) there are still some ill feelings shared between M.D.?s and D.O.?s, but for the most part the two work side-by-side in hospitals all across the country. You guys reported on Bob Hope everyday he was in the hospital. Did you not notice the specialist taking care of him was a D.O.? Your printing of the below statement is completely misleading by way of its negative connotations.

    ?Osteopaths call themselves surgeons? and ?He is licensed as an osteopathic physician and surgeon and is a member of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and the Osteopathic Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Osteopaths are trained in manipulating the skeleton and muscles.? ?...He is not an M.D. and is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.?

    It is a better description of foreign ?Osteopaths? who are not ?complete physicians? like M.D.?s and D.O.?s in the USA. The fact is both D.O.?s and M.D.?s are complete physicians. They are both licensed by state and specialty boards to perform surgery and prescribe medication. CNN?s OWN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT, DOCTOR STEVE SALVATORE is a D.O. I am sure that he does not appreciate the article in the least.
     
  6. ryanpj and RDJ:

    Thank you for composing letters to inform both CNN and Reuters about their misinterpretation of the trademark of Osteopathic Medicine, and that certain phrases in the posted article are unappreciated.
     
  7. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member
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    I have also sent a short, critical e-mail to CNN people with regard to the article.


    Dear CNN,

    As a D.O./Ph.D. student at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, I find your article grossly inaccurate and also offensive in its negative portrayal of osteopathic physicians as something less than their M.D. counterparts, particular in your statements such as "osteopaths call themselves surgeons" and that "osteopaths are trained to manipulate bones and muscles." Perhaps, you should do research into our curriculum which calls for a complete medical training found at M.D. institutions AND osteopathic manipulative therapies (OMT). Osteopathic training encampasses all conventional diagnoses and therapeutic modalities available to M.D. practicioners. Whether licensed by M.D. or D.O. specialty boards (both of which are each other's equivalent), D.O.'s and M.D.'s practice complete medicine in all its subspecialties with a slight difference in philosophical approach to patient care (in that D.O.'s have traditionally been viewed more holistic than M.D.'s). With that said, it is insulting to osteopathic physicians and D.O. students alike to be referred to as anything other than complete physicians and surgeons. D.O.'s are found in all branches of the military as medical officers, in hospitals across the country as residents, physicians, and medical directors, and also in M.D. as well as D.O. medical schools as professors. It is unfortunate then that CNN, an investigative news group, had failed to realize that its own in-house medical correspondent, Dr. Salvatore, is in fact a D.O., and that the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Dr. Blanck, is also a D.O. One needs only to do a bit of research to avoid this type of misinformation so it is inexcusable that such a reputable news group such as CNN would fail to do adequate research on a topic on which it reports but knows very little about.
     
  8. DoctorK

    DoctorK Member
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    Please keep us informed about any responses you receive from CNN regarding your email to them. Many times, large entities don't have time to respond the individual emails, but hopefully they'll have something to say about their misrepresentation of osteopathic medicine. Is this the same D.O. I saw a few weeks ago who helps the stars (like Nick Nolte) prevent aging? I think it was 60 minutes or something similar. I don't recall that they made a big deal about this physician being a D.O. Just wondering. [​IMG]
     
  9. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    It might help (can't hurt) if you forward your emails to the media relations department at the AOA. The media representative's email address can be found on the AOA homepage under the link "media relations."
     
  10. Devo

    Devo Member
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    I'm glad you guys wrote to them, although I also found the comments absurd, I'm really not in the position to confront them (as I am only in high school, hehe). Maybe Reuters will hire me as a writer over the summer, I'd be cheap labor and I could do a helluva better job than that guy :p
     
  11. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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  12. RYSA

    RYSA Member
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    I read the article and really didn't think that it was disparaging. In fact the short paragraph which talked about osteopathic medicine was truthful. The only thing I think they should have added is that although it is true osteopathic physicians are not M.D.'s but are D.O.'s, like M.D.'s, they are qualified to perform surgery, once they have completed a surgical residency program.

    I think you guys need to develop thicker-skins.



    ------------------
    "A goal without a deadline is, in reality, only a wish"
     
  13. rhillstr

    rhillstr Senior Member
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    I too wrote them. I won't post it here since I says nearly the same thing. I did add a point that they have a responsibility to the public as news media to give their readers accurate and honest reporting and compared it to the trust patients give their doctors just in case they didn't understand.. [​IMG]
    I also asked them to post an article clarifying their story. Everyone should write in and be heard. The more response they get, the more likely a response will occur.
     
  14. Duo Degree

    Duo Degree Member
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    Although I think the author of the article was stating facts, the truth isn't always about facts. It's not just what is said, but also HOW it's said! I am not necessarily defensive about my career, but I would like the media to be more responsible. (My girlfriend is "media" and I'm sure she'll disagree with me on that opinion! [​IMG] )
     
  15. duo's media girlfriend

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    i actually agree with my boyfriend duo degree. Reporters have a responsibility to make the public aware of facts in an un manipulative way.However, money comes into play, and some reporters play on an angle that would make the article more interesting. This journalist, though he did not blatantly lie, reported the truth in a manner that implied falsehoods. Even worse he may not have done the necessary research to know the difference. Regardless, it makes me ashamed that he calls himself a journalist.
     
  16. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member
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    RYSA,

    Do you mean to say that when someone is misinformed, he should not be informed? Do you mean to tell people to "grow thicker skin" by playing the victims to the media? When something wrong is being said, someone needs to speak up or no one will.

    Happy 4th of July.
     
  17. RYSA

    RYSA Member
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    As I stated in my earlier post..I do not think that anyone was "misinformed" and I hardly think that anyone is a "victim" of this article. I stand by my earlier post..the article could have elaborated a little more about what a D.O. is, and what D.O.'s are qualified to do, however I do not think that misinformation was conveyed.

    Just my two cents. [​IMG]



    ------------------
    "A goal without a deadline is, in reality, only a wish"
     
  18. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    RYSA, I think that you should read into the persona and tone of the article.
     
  19. Royce

    Royce Member
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    I agree that the article was pretty bad. The part about "Osteopaths call themselves surgeons" was about as dumb as "MDs call themselves surgeons"--of course they do, provided that they've done a surgical residency. But the uninformed reader would come away with the idea that DOs may not really be surgeons; rather they just like to think of themselves in that way.

    For a profession that has taken its share of lumps along the way, this was not the best thing to happen. But let's not get too carried away. Most people won't have read the article, and it gave DOs a rallying point to help further your efforts to gain public support. If you could get CNN to print a clarification and/or a "compensatory article" that discusses an osteopath who is doing things that aren't normally expected from a person in that profession (an endocrinologist would be a nice example), and then point out that this is not a stretch for a DO, then you would have turned a negative into a positive.

    However, let's keep things in perspective. No posting by Royce would be complete without a bit of what some people on this site will call bile--while others merely call it a dose of "unpleasant reality"--and this post is no exception. Specifically, what do you intend to do, if anything, about those DOs who promote such things as cranial osteopathy and chelation therapy? If you read the article that I suggested--found on www.quackwatch.com, look for "osteopathy's dubious aspects"--you'll see what I mean.

    As I see it, DOs are at a critical juncture in their history. Thirty years ago, they weren't allowed in CA. Now there are two schools of osteopathy in that state. The AOA, despite some missteps, is making moves to allow for greater integration into the allopathic world. (One example of this is their granting of exceptions to those people who complete an allopathic residency that allow them to retain full-fledged AOA certification.)

    But the DOs one commonly sees today would be almost unrecognizable--and almost certainly unacceptable-- to A.T. Still, MD, who founded and codified their "approach" to medicine. Very much like their MD counterparts, DOs are performing surgery and giving drugs--all the things that Still abhored. The one major difference that remains, manipulative therapy, is not amenable to many avenues of medical practice--surgeons don't use this approach too often, even in post-op or diagnostic situations. And even in cases where its use is warranted--family practice is one such area of medicine--it's not used with great regularity.

    So the question is: what is osteopathy's future? It descended from a form of medicine that it claimed was barbaric--and yet it ultimately wound up trying like the Devil to emulate it. What can be inferred from such a transformation? And what is the lesson to the pre-med who is trying to decide between two different fields, one of which is well known throughout the world; while the other claims in its bulletins to be far better and more humane than the mainstream form, but whose graduates flock in ever-greater numbers to embrace it whilst pretending to maintain a strong bond to their own branch of medicine.

    There is no doubt that a DO CAN do anything that an MD can do. The problem lies in getting the opportunity to prove yourself as a DO. I have known many DOs, all of whom practice medicine at a very high level. But each of them applied to MD schools and only attended DO schools when it became clear that their MCAT scores were not sufficiently high enough for the MD schools' tastes. In most cases, they made application to DO schools in their SECOND attempt to gain admission to a medical school. Did it work for them? Sure. But it was, by their own admission, somewhat harder to gain the respect of their colleagues and the public whom they serve.

    The moral: medicine is a tough career choice no matter which way you cut it. Many of the people who are posting on this board as die-hard DOs to-be would have been MDs if the opportunity presented itself. If you are a beginning pre-med, you have the opportunity to shape your career path. If you had a hard time in high school, prepare yourself for extra work in college to catch up. If you were an A-student in HS, make sure that you maintain your previous level of high performance. But most of all, shoot for the stars and demand the most of yourself. Even if you fail to reach Harvard, like yours truly, you can't be disappointed in yourself if you put forth your best effort.

    Good luck


    [This message has been edited by Royce (edited 07-05-2000).]
     
  20. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member
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    Well, Royce, that was a good post that (sorry) I didn't expect from you. But your reality check is right on the money, and i agree w/you.

    This reall is a critical point for DOs. The thing is that modern medicine is so much more effective, researched, and safer than the medicine Dr. Still was trying to move away from. So now we have two branches of medicine becoming ONE.

    I don't know what the goals are for the AOA, but I guess we're going to continue to plod along promoting these imaginary differences b/t DOs and MDs all the while calling for Osteopathic Unity.

    WOW! Someone should tell these guys that this is an effort in futility, since everyone one knows that the real difference b/t DOs and MDs is the learning of OMT (notice i didn't say practice OMT; my DO IM interviewer at TCOM even told me that she doesn't use it at all and believes it works on a large part due to the physician touching the patient).

    Hmmm, I think the AOA is trying to imply that DOs are more caring or more humanistic than MDs without saying it outright (b/c sparks would fly). So instead the slogan is "treating people, not just symptoms". WOW, don't others find this just so blatantly silly? Or am I the only one who sees it like this?!! What's going on?!

    ps.
    You know that type of memory that really just sticks out in your brain? I forgot what it's called but an example would be the Challenger Shuttle disaster. Well, I have one of my student tour guide at TCOM almost a year ago. He said that "DOs are supposed to have a different philosophy as MDs"

    Now you tell me what that would stick out in my brain.

     
  21. Dr. B

    Dr. B Member
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    Hey guys,
    I am new on this post but I have been following it for a while. I don't think the CNN article was condescending at all. I think it was just saying that he was a surgeon by nontraditional means. If anything, I think it was good DO exposure because it showed that DO's are branching out further into medicine than before.
    I have also been following the flame wars over the past few days and in Royce's defense, he seems to be a fairly unbiased voice for a person with such potential for bias (read: MD student on a DO post.) I think he was just reacting to a few individuals who took his words out of context and got defensive. Just as with the CNN story, it is easy to add tone to type. Not that I agree with all of Royce's viewpoints, but it goes both ways.
    I will be attending OSUCOM in August and the derogatory remarks about DO's have already started, but I figure you get out of something what you put into it. If you choose to embrace OMT, so be it. If you feel that it may not be as helpful as other methods of treatment and choose to reject it, so be it. At least you will be educated enough to know because you were trained in it. You have to be open-minded in medicine because it is rapidly changing, almost daily.
    So to all my fellow collegues out there, be they DO or MD, I say.....

    ------------------
    Keep it real,

    Dr.B
     
  22. Xavier

    Xavier New Member

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    That is frankly slanderous material. The AOA should sue CNN over this one. That would make them and the rest of the media be more careful in the future!
     
  23. wheatfarmer

    wheatfarmer Senior Member
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    I totally agree with you Royce, there are still the rogue DO's that boarder on unethical treatment practices (chelation) and engage in the scientifically unproven Cranial techniques.

    We are at a crossroads, and it is VERY importatant that we, as DO's, chose to support curriculums based on science and research and not purely based on tradition (teaching cranial sacral technique to all students because that is what has been taught in the past).
    Osteopathic medicine does not equal Alternative medicine.

    See Royce, we can be friends!
     
  24. RYSA

    RYSA Member
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    Frankly, there was NOTHING slanderous about the information given in the CNN article. Maybe the article was not slanted the way many of you would have liked, but all the information was truthful and valid. There would be no cause to sue.

    Just wondering, why are you guys so defensive?




    [This message has been edited by RYSA (edited 07-06-2000).]
     
  25. myrnafir

    myrnafir Member
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    Maybe I'm just going to end up going to med school with both feet in my mouth, but if you look at most of the drugs in today's market you'll see that most of them have the label "mechanism unknown". Most of these drugs are used because they have been proven empirically to work- through cohort studies, RCTs, etc. However, no one knows exactly HOW it works. Just because the studies (sorry, but a double blind RCT wouldn't be able to work well in this case) aren't done to prove that OMT works doesn't mean that OMT is worthless. I believe, along with several other people who have undergone OMT, that it works and I personally, as a future physician, want the opportunity to learn and practice OMT responsibly. I wouldn't have applied to DO schools if I thought that it was harmful to patients- I want to practice it because it helped me and damned if I'm going to deny people the opportunity to benefit from OMT.

    The truth is, none of us knows exactly how many of our treatments work, but we try our best to help our patients with the knowledge that we have and to the best of our ability.
     
  26. Xavier

    Xavier New Member

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    Is this not obvious? Why would the author make any mention that this guy is a DO in the first place? It's an attempt at making this surgeon look bad because he's not an MD. Sure the guy probably is a sleez, but his degree doesn't have anything to do with this issue!

    The slanderous statement is in insinuating that osteopathic physicians are only trained in "manipulating the skeleton and muscles." It's also insinuating that because he is not an MD, and not licensed by the American Board of Plastic Surgery he's not qualified to do surgery!

    The guy probably did a DO residency, so he could only be boarded by the Osteopathic Board of Facial Plastic Surgery.

    This is not an issue of the AOA not being forceful enough in public relations, it's an issue of CNN distorting facts to make for a more interesting article.
     
  27. wheatfarmer

    wheatfarmer Senior Member
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    hey mrnyfirrrhurmdsd,

    Dude, if you expect to pass your boards, you had better learn some of those mechanisms!!!! Get for real. Treatments based on testimonials are not the way in which you should practice or refer treatment advise as a responsible physician.

    But, this topic is about the CNN article, not the validity of "press and guess" diagnosis and treatment modalities.

    "Mmmmm, peanuts"
    H.Simpson
     
  28. myrnafir

    myrnafir Member
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    Well, Wheatfarmer, I agree I should have saved most of my ranting for another topic. I do agree with most of the posts on the CNN article- along the lines of Royce, et. al.

    And I do want to pass my boards and would like to educate my patients on the mechanisms of the drugs that are used, but I just wanted to remind people that there is still a lot that we don't know.

    I think this will be my last post.

    It's been surreal.
     
  29. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    Has anyone heard back from the AOA or CNN? Or have you contacted either of them yet? I think that more members of this board should be aware of this topic and become involved.
     
  30. DOPhD student

    DOPhD student Senior Member
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    For those of you who think the CNN article was not written in an ignorant (if not down right malicious) manner, let me give you a similar scenario but a slightly different twist.

    Asians (or African Americans/Hispanics) call themselves Americans...

    Asian (D.O.'s) born US citizens (AOA board certified) call themselves Americans (physicians) even though they are of Asian and not of WASP heritage (ABMS board certified)...

    Wouldn't a statement above raise some eyebrows?

    All I'm saying is you can report truth with many different slants based on your agendas to mislead people. It would be ridiculous to say that M.D.'s call themselves physicians and surgeons even though they are not AOA-board certified. I would bet you everything I have in the bank right now that if it had been an M.D. who practices incompetently, his own credential would be called into question, but not that of his profession. CNN would have a lawsuit on its hand right now had the article read "allopaths call themselves surgeons" but then again if it had been an M.D., there wouldn't even be an article. Another curious thing to think about is since there is such an abundant number of allopaths out there practicing plastic surgery and only a handful of osteopaths in this specialty, why is the focus on one osteopath while there are many incompetent, fraudulent allopaths out there practicing bad medicine to choose from?
     
  31. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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  32. IQ

    IQ
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    The AOA emailed me two days ago with the following rendition . . . "the AOA has completed a formal response to the article and is forwarding that response to CNN and Reuters." The AOA reply was authored by Heidi Ann Ecker, Director of Communications, AOA, Washington DC. Ph. 800/962-9008, fax 202/544-3525.
     
  33. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    excellent, I wonder if anyone else will get a relpy?
     
  34. RDJ

    RDJ

    I received these two replies in addition to the reply from the AOA:

    "We want to thank you for sending your comments to CNN Interactive.

    Your feedback is appreciated. We have sent your comments to the producers for review and consideration. Unfortunately, we will not be able to personally respond to your message at this time.

    Keep your browser pointed to CNN.com

    Sincerely,

    CNN Interactive Community Staff"


    "Thank you for contacting us.

    The "Raw News" comes directly to our site on an automated feed from the
    wire service. Often it is out of our control when there are errors. The
    feature gives our readers up-to-the minute news, but there is a
    sacrifice with details, so it lives up to its name "Raw". We do pass on
    corrections to the wire service, so we appreciate your response.

    Regards,
    Alice
    ABCNews.com <A HREF="http://abcnews.go.com/"" TARGET=_blank>http://abcnews.go.com/"</A>

     

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