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DOs in foreign countries??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by AnnaB, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. AnnaB

    AnnaB Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    HI all,
    I'm just trying to make sure I have correct information here. Is it true that DOs are NOT recognized as physicians in any other country than the US??? IF this is true, then that means if you are a DO in America and decided to move to England for example, you could NOT practice medicine??? I was just wondering...because I'm all about becoming a DO...but may end up overseas later on. Any info???? Thanks!!!
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  3. tBw

    tBw totally deluded 7+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2001
    infront of an iMac
    The question of international licensure of DOs comes up periodically on this board. As I also have an interest in this I contacted the AOA to find out. The following was their response:

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding licensure for osteopathic physicians. As you can imagine, international licensure is a very complicated and
    varied process. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) produces an International Licensure Summary, and this summary will probably provide you
    with the most current and reliable information regarding international licensure issues.

    For instance, the AOA states in its International Licensure Summary that "Many countries which were or continue to be under British influence adhere
    to Britain's definition of an 'osteopath,' a non-physician health care practitioner who practices only manipulation. Due to the similarity of the
    titles, many of these countries refuse to grant US-trained DO's practice rights beyond the scope of manipulation." This definition obviously differs
    greatly from the definition of a US trained osteopathic physician.

    For more information, you should contact the AOA Division of State Government Affairs, 142 East Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611; (800) 621-1773 or visit
    the AOA website at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> Thank you for your interest in osteopathic medicine.
  4. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 1999
    Lafayette, IN
    The short, uncomplicated version of the answer is the confusion over the use of the initials "DO". Without drudging through too much history and what-not, DO stands for two very different things. In the US, D.O. is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine - a physician with full practice rights. In most of the rest of the world, D.O. is a Diplomat of Osteopathy - essentially another term for a chiropractor or a clinician who can ONLY implement manual/manipulative medicine and has no prescriptive or surgical authority. Hence the confusion...

    Realistically, the granting of practice rights of any Doc trained in one country who wishes to practice in another ranges from relatively simplistic to detailed and complicated to say the least. If you, as a US trained physician (DO or MD), wish to practice in another country, you have to apply/petition that country's medical licensing authority for practice rights -- this involves, among many other things, substantiating the training and education that you received.

    While I have not done this...I suspect it is not easy for either an MD or a DO; but, due to the lack of confusion due to the initials...the MD probably has less of a time getting practice rights granted. However, since you medical authority is vested in your training and not just the alphabet soup behind your name, with some perserverance, I would imagine you could obtain those same rights if you are willing to jump through some additional hoops.

    We can certainly thank the wisdom of the AOA for their white-knuckled death-grip on the past for the persistence of this confusion. Most reasonable, rational bodies would recognize that if a few billion people &lt;rest of the world&gt; see "DO" to have one meaning (esp a meaning that we'd prefer not to be associated with the profession) and only 300 million (United States) folks see "DO" as something entirely different -- that it might just be reasonable, logical and prudent to CHANGE (the treachery & treason of such a suggestion!) our designation such that the confusion, both domestic and international, is ameliorated. Yes, there might be some initial additional confusion here in the US, but in the long run, clarity would prevail for a much larger audience.
  5. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Long Island, NY
    I know for a fact that, as an American doctor of osteopathic medicine, one can gain practice rights in

    - Sweden
    - Israel
    - New Zealand

    These are just the ones I know of from personal experience. The head of plastic / reconstructive surgery at PCOM get the DO degree fully accepted in Sweden. I know a DO radiologist who practices in Jerusalem. And a DO FP who was a professor at PCOM just got practice rights in New Zealand by going before a medical board and pleading her case. These are all modern, western countries, so it's pretty safe to say that there are more that accept the degree or will in the near future. My guess is that the New Zealand situation is pretty standard for any western country. You have to go before a medical board and explain to them why you should be given the right to practice medicine in their country. The letters after your name generally won't matter.

    One caveat, though. If you want to get rights in a country in Africa or some other underdeveloped and/or unstable part of the world, don't bother. It would be virtually impossible as an MD, and exponentially worse as a DO.
  6. AnnaB

    AnnaB Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    Thanks for all the help everyone....I appreciate the input!!!!!
  7. Yosh

    Yosh Livin' in the WINDY CITY 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    NW Indiana
    I too am from Long Island and I was just wondering where you are from....and where you did your post bac....

    E-mail me at [email protected] am on the island now..and leaving from school on the 5th...

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