DO vs. MD

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by sgwu, Dec 13, 2000.

  1. sgwu

    sgwu Junior Member

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    I was wondering if anyone could tell me the differences between the two?
     
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  3. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
    Moderator Physician

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    Oh no, not again! just check around the site-- there's PLENTY there, I promise....

    I hope you realize what you may have started.... hehe

    take it easy

    homonculus

     
  4. M00se

    M00se Member

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    I'll give it a whirl.

    MD is the traditional title of physicians and comes from the european system of education. When the first colleges opened in the US they offered 6 month training programs and offered the MD degree.

    In the late 1800's most physicians did not go to a school, but instead interned with a doctor for 2-4 years before calling themselves doctors. At the time of the civil war, the surgeon general(an MD) was court marshalled for refusing to give calomel to wounded soldiers. Calomel is a mercury compound that is so deadly you can't even touch it with bare skin. At this time there were no antibiotics, so almost any surgery was usually fatal.

    So this guy A. T. Still, who was fed up with medicine because of the loss of his wife and children to meningitis, started his own study of medicine. He later came up with his own philosophys and opened his own school. He hired MD's to teach the core classes but then added on his own teachings he called osteopathy. He new little of pathology or even surgery, but he was very interested in the relationship between anatomy and disease. He discouraged the use of drugs and hoped to use surgery only as the last resort.
    Over the next 40 years great advances were made in medicine and many of these were due to the osteopathic medicine. Harvard tried to require written exams for graduation, but it was opposed since most of the students could not write. Osteopathic schools went to a 2 year program and MD schools followed. I don't want to go off on a rant here so I'll just say that medical science finally caught up with the practice of medicine. The changes in medicine eventually made the curriculum at MD and DO schools so similar that there was a brief attempt to merge the two proffesions. The AMA let DO's in Claifornia buy an MD degree for 65$.
    When DO's refused to stop doing OMM the deal was off and the two remained separate but equal. There is no procedure or treatment that an MD can give that a DO cannot. SO what's the difference?
    Well, in the many years that osteopathic medicine has been around they learned a few things about physical medicine. There is a great deal of good you can do with your own two hands. MD's can learn it in a physical medicine residency. When you graduate from an Osteopathic Med school you already know it. At or school some of the OMM teachers are MD's.

    Some people will tell you that the education is different, or even less than, an MD's education. I can only say that my classmates passed the USMLE exam at a higher rate than the national average for all MD schools. And we had to learn OMM on top of all that the MD students did.



    ------------------
    Jim
     
  5. M00se

    M00se Member

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    Sorry about the spelling, I should have proofed the reply
     
  6. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Just to clarify some points of history made by Moose.

    Andrew T. Still was an MD who was educated the way many MDs were educated at the time -- by apprenticeship. So I believe he knew quite a bit of pathology and surgery (as advanced as the times allowed), but dropped it in search of something he called osteopathy.

    The California merger of the California Medical Association and the California Osteopathic Association was probably the last crisis in the DO profession since its inception in the late 1800s. The AMA was out to kill off all the osteopaths and honed in on what they believed to be the DO's biggest problem, and that was that he wasn't an MD. The College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (COP&S) in California was taken under the wing of the AMA and became the California College of Medicine, which granted MDs to some 2,000 DOs in the State of California. They were initially very eager to get their MDs, but some things changed.

    There were two problems for the newly minted MDs. First was that the new MD degrees granted by the California College of Medicine would not be recognized as such outside the State of California. Second was also that within the State of California the new MDs were being blacklisted from practice in most hospitals, which was the situation when they were still DOs, so what was the point of being an California College of Medicine MD?

    To make a long story short, there was a backlash and the osteopathic profession in California lives on. Only a few of these MDs still run around today -- I met one just the other day who's a nephrologist somewhere. The California College of Medicine is today the University of California-Irvine College of Medicine.

    The national average pass rate on Step 1 for DOs is a little above 80%. The national average pass rate on Step 1 for MDs is 92%. The reason for this is simple: DOs aren't taught in a way that'll prepare them for the USMLE, just as MDs aren't taught in a way that'll prepare them for the COMLEX.


    Tim of New York City.
     
  7. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Nice to finally have a THIRD Brooklynite on SDN. Where do you go to school currently? And if you have any questions about NYCOM, there are a bunch of them running around here somewhere. I also have some friends at NYCOM, so I can relay to you what they've told me about the school.

    Good luck and happy studying!

    Tim of East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
     

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