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confused about DO vs MD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by gbey, May 17, 2002.

  1. gbey

    gbey Junior Member
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    I think I know the basics, but I am still confused about these two paths to becoming a physician.

    Would someone explain to me about the prospect of finding a job in the hospitals [rural or urban]if you are a DO. Or are we going to be discriminated against and forced to open our own practices?

    Even if we open our own offices with the DO letters behind our names, will we get patients? Wouldn't people get confused about what we are?

    Please this is meant to be an honest concern on my part. I mean wouldn't you want to be sure your future before paying over $100000.00 in tuition?

    Those of you who know please advise.

    Sincerely.

    Gebe
     
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  3. DOnut

    DOnut Senior Member
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    I'll give you my honest opinion. After doing MUCH research on osteopathic physicians, I chose to attend New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. I start this fall. From what I have learned in the past two years from shadowing DO's, the majority of patients have no idea about the difference between a DO and an MD. In fact, most patient who have seen a DO, don't know it. Take my grandmother for example. She had a hysterectomy last year and was talking about how great her doctor was. When I told her that her doctor was a DO, she said, "what's that.....shoot I don't know about all that medical stuff she was just a good doctor." The patients who I have seen that do know the difference between a DO and an MD feel that the holistic philosophy to medicine is a better approach. As far as hospitals, I don't believe there is discrimination once you have finished your residency, but if you are a DO, and you are applying to an allopathic residency, then you may face some discrimination from residency director when applying. I know that DO's are WELL represented in the hospitals here in NYC. As a matter of fact I thought this was kind of cool. Yesterday, I went to North Shore University Hospital in Queens to help my grandmother with an appointment she had. All of the medical students who I saw working were from NYCOM. That made me really excited about starting school in the fall. I hope this helps. If I think of any additional info,I'll post it. Please feel free to ask more questions, and also search this website. There is alot of great information out there about Osteopathic Medicine.
     
  4. Starboard

    Starboard Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by gebe:
    <strong>I
    Would someone explain to me about the prospect of finding a job in the hospitals [rural or urban]if you are a DO. Or are we going to be discriminated against and forced to open our own practices?

    Even if we open our own offices with the DO letters behind our names, will we get patients? Wouldn't people get confused about what we are?

    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Gebe-

    You ask good questions!

    There are many points to consider as you go into practice, most of which will come up later in your training.

    The first thing to tell you is for the most part, no DO's are not discriminated against and forced to open their own practices. Many DO's commonly go into practice with MD's and other DO's. Hospitals become a little more complicated but they do employ DO's and as the number of DO's grows I imagine so too will the number emplyed by hospitals. And insurance companies are also starting to recognize the validity of DO's (they didn't necessarily discriminate against before, but now they're actively seeking DO's as we tend to be able to fill their primiary care needs).

    You will want to explore licensing issues in what ever state you practice in. Some states have more requirements for DO's than others. But you will still be able to practice.

    Something else to to ponder when you're deciding where to practice - knoweldge about DO's varies widely throughought the country. On the east coast, and especially the NY area, DO's are quite common and well known. Where as on the west coast, some unfortunate political activites a few decades ago effectively reduced public knoweldge about DO's - only now is that knoweldge beginning to pick-up again. This isn't to say you should look at practicing in one area over another, just that you'll want to be aware of the knowledge of the community you're going into. If you choose to go into a community where little is known about DO's think strongly about offering some sort of public/patient education.

    In the end though, as long as a patient can call you "Dr." they really never think much about whether you're a DO or an MD.

    You'll be a doctor whether you go MD or DO, follow the path that makes the most sense to you...
     
  5. conmantlc

    conmantlc Member
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    I work at an ER in Lafayette, Colorado, and have worked there since 1999. They hired their first DO soon after and I admit that I had no idea what a DO was and I thought it was a "lesser" degree, and she didn't know what she was doing. Yet, after I saw her work, I was amazed. She was so great with patients and staff that she became very popular and patients would request her as their doctor. They didn't know she was a DO or MD. Since then, we have hired five more DO's and they now make up almost half the medical staff. Colorado is a little behind on the knowledge of DO's but it is becoming better, every year more DO's are hired at the hospital in Boulder, including a surgeon and an anaesthesiologist (i hope I spelled that right), so acceptance of DO's is becoming much greater in specialties here as well. We have a sign up in the waiting room with the pictures of the docs and their initials after their names. A lot of people say," what the hecks a DO, someone who gives you herbs or something?", but most of the staff understands the differences, and after explaining the philosophy to patients, they seem very impressed and eager to see the DO instead of the MD. The DO's constantly have better approval ratings on patient surveys, and they consistently have better outcomes with patients than the MDs. Now that I understand what osteopathic medicine is about, there is no way I would ever go MD. I would feel more handicapped being an MD and not knowing OMM or the holistic approaches, than being a DO and having the occasional residency director raise an eyebrow about a DO student, or the rare patient who refuses to see a DO because they think they aren't as qualified. I believe that osteopathic medicine is growing exponentially in public understanding and patient demand, and we, as DO med students, are entering a field that will revolutionize medicine and its shortcomings based on allopathic tradition.
     
  6. Jersey Girl

    Jersey Girl Member
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    I would just like to clarify something as we are helping to explain these differences to someone. In several previous posts I have seen the word "holistic" be used. This is the wrong terminology. "Holistic" refers to natural and homeopathic medicine ( the use of herbs). DO's have a "Wholisitic" philosophy. "Whole", meaning they treat the whole individual and do not reduce a person into systems, and diseases which afflict those systems alone. Please be careful, because DO's do not practice Holistic medicine, and using that terminology will only create further confusion. I know what you guys meant, but some one browsing the boards may not.
     
  7. conmantlc

    conmantlc Member
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    Actually, holistic medicine has nothing to do with herbs or anything other than how you describe "wholism". In my dictionary, holistic means: "concerned with wholes or complete systems rather than treatment or analysis of dissection of parts of the body". So we are using the word correctly and holistic and your "wholistic" mean the same thing. I know, however, that the average person thinks holistic means homeopathic and herbal based medicine, so in that sense, you are right in having us not use the term holistic. But the true definition of the word defines ostoepathic philosophy pretty well i think. Im sure the average person checking out chat room sites doesn't look up words in the dictionary and is more likely to misinterpret them, so I appreciate you looking out for us as DO students..
     
  8. Amra

    Amra A Quiet Voice of Reason
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    Remember the end-all bottom line thought when it comes to DO v. MD... Both use the same billing codes... therefore must be identical.

    The real difference between DO and MD comes in philosophy as mentioned above(and unfortunately a lot of DO's move away from 'idealistic osteopathy' once their in practice). Although, looking ahead, I probably will not practice it either... mine will be more along the lines of "Amra-opathy" as I'm going to take the things I learned through life and use it in how I practice medicine.

    -A
     
  9. conmantlc

    conmantlc Member
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    Amra-nice animation under your screen name...
    You're right, most DO's, or at least the ones that I work with, don't really use OMM or manual stuff very much, and I don't plan to either. However, on some occasions, the DO's use OMM with phenomenal results, especially with people who have back problems or cervical strains; I have never seen a DO use OMM for conditions such as migraines, sinus infections, abd pain, etc., all of which are conditions for which there is OMM treatment (I think, I'm not a student yet, this is just my understanding). What stands out to me watching DO's is their bedside manner, their great patient interaction, and their courtesy and respect to other staff members. I often witness DO's asking patients, "what do you think is the best way to get better?" This is very refreshing in contrast to the old adage, "take two of these and don't call me in the morning" that allopathic medicine subscribes. I think in an ER setting, DO's don't really have the time to practice OMM, yet their underlying philosophy of patient care is always present. "Amra-opathy"...thats good!.
     
  10. jhug

    jhug 1K Member
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    i've posted this before so sorry for the repetition-- but it did help me understand the difference better. A doc (md) compared the differences between DO/MD to those of a Honda vs Acura. One may come with power windows or neat seats that heat up in the winter, one may claim to be a luxury car or turn a few more heads while driving-- but they are both made by the same company! The only real difference is in the driver. When it comes down to it, will anyone really care what letters follow your name or how well you do your job???!??
     
  11. gbey

    gbey Junior Member
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    I thank all of you who replied to my concerns.
    Thanks a lot. I will write more later.

    Thank you,

    Gebe
     
  12. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    Gebe, Good Luck. By the way what does the Yaw in Gebeyaw means? Is your Name Yaw?
     

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