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Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by nezlab99, Nov 22, 2002.
You have some tough choices to make and I do not envy you.
You could try to reason with him - address his concerns with facts that refute it.
Ultimately, though, it will most likely come down to whether your ability to follow your chosen career path is more or less important than your father's approval.
Decide which one is most important to you, what the consequences of your choice will entail, then act.
Good luck in your decision.
First off, good luck with your decision but you have to decide what is best for you and only you can decide, not your parents but I have found that parents have amazing insight and always have your best interest at heart (in my case I'm talking about my mother) so I tend to give her opinion a lot of weight. I would listen to his reasons and ask for specific examples.
When I began the app process Mom and I talked about the various options (she has been a nurse for 25 years and worked with many DO's) and her main concern was that I wouldn't be happy as a DO because she realizes that although I agree with some alternative medicine and therapies that I tend to look at more "mainstream" things as more valued. I am a scientist at heart and therefore things like drugs and procedures make sense to me and things like manipulation and more holistic approaches are more foreign and have to be proved to me and I am always a little leary about them until I have this proof. I have to work very hard to truly trust in things like this so she was probably right that DO was not the option for me although I have the utmost respect for people that chose that option. Your Dad may sense something about you that you don't even realize or he may just be speaking from his experience but until you really sit down and talk about it at length then you will not know.
I have found that she tends to be a much better judge of things effecting me than I am usually because she sees the total picture where I get caught up in what is happening. Talk to your Dad and tell him what you like about the DO program and any concerns if you have them and then get his input . If he sees that the DO program is truly your calling then I bet he will support you. I have heard on here that there can be problems with residencies at certain places but my Mom has worked with DO's that went to some pretty impressive places for residency and she says that there is no difference in working with a MD or DO from a knowledge and skill point of view so it really is a personal choice.
We had a guest speaker the other day who is an administrator. He said that no ER doctor (He was an ER doc...MD) should work for less than $150 an hour. MD, DO made no difference to him when he was hiring and promoting new doctors. What did make a difference was how hard they work and what kind of reviews they got from hospital staff, patients and quality of patient outcomes. It was based on some type of point system where no one particular area would determine the docs fate. To be honest...it's just like anytihg else, a popularity contest. If everybody loves you, then you will go far- if they don't, you won't. Money also follows popularity by-the-way. So be whatever you choose and be good at it, but above all else...BE POPULAR!
How old is your father, what area are you in and what hospital does he work at? It is possible the even though he has been an administrator for 15 years, he is actually sheltered and has only experienced a lopsided opinion due to the job that he has.
I say this because I worked in a hospital that had some administrators that had worked there for over 20 years. And you would not believe how many of them are as ignorant as a lamp post. This isn't a criticism of your father, it is just that some environments in health care will shape his opinion and over the course of 15 years he may not have had anyone to educate him or guide him that wasn't from an old guard generation and that ultimately shaped his current opinion. It is like any prejudice or racism, if you are only told something bad about a particular group of people, then after 15 years you might actually believe it. It takes a strong person to stand up to that kind of prejudice and try to educate the unwilling.
If you truly believe that osteopathic medicine is the philosophical approach that you are meant to follow, then I would just simple explain to your father that you aren't doing this for the money, the promotions or the "respect" but that you are doing it for the patients that you will eventually treat and that you feel that you will ultimately serve them better with an osteopathic philosophy and education behind you.
I don't think it will ruin your relationship with your father if you go DO, at least it shouldn't (and if it does then there are deeper issue there). Get him some books to read up on the history so that he can see WHY the prejudice is there and he may realize that he is only helping to promote a terrible misconception.
I graduated from TCOM. It's a great school; you'll get a fantastic medical education. Why don't you invite him on a tour of the campus and arrange a meeting with one of the Dean's---either Dr. Hahn (trained as an anesthesiologist) or Dr. Foreman (trained as a rheumatologist). Let them talk to your Dad and address his concerns.
get paid less: If this were true, there would be a lot of lawsuits out there. What I think he must have meant was that many D.O.'s go into primary care, and primary care doctors get paid less than physicians that specialize. D.O.'s are not limited to primary care medicine.
get less respect: We all earn our respect. Stereotypes only get people to initial impressions.
don't get promoted as well: the AOA has not promoted D.O.'s as much throughout history. Recently, there have been advertisements in several magazines about D.O.s, but most people still don't know the difference between a D.O. and an M.D. I think the real issue is, will this really affect your practice? Will someone in need of medical care really care whether you are a D.O. or an M.D. if you are delivering quality health care? Insurance companies aren't going to discriminate against D.O.'s. I firmly believe the quality of your care will improve as a D.O., because of the approach to medicine. The name of the medical school is not important unless you are going into academic medicine. Your residency is more important.
recognized as "second class doctors:" Recognition based on stereotypes does not equal recognition after being treated. Each individual doctor gets recognized for how he does his job. Colleagues may have doubts, but each year as the new residents get started, you are judged by how you perform, your in-service exams, etc.
This D.O. vs. M.D. war is sad, because it discourages a lot of potentially good pre-meds from discovering more than the stereotypes. I understand the importance of pleasing your father, and I don't mean to minimize your problem. As a female, I am certain there will be someone out there who will treat me different than a male because of stereotypes. I felt that osteopaths were "inferior" initially. Yet I understand so much more about the value of osteopathic medicine after I began my training, and I similarly had to overcome many negative stereotypes put out there by pre-med advisors. Good luck.
Whether you go DO or MD, you are a doctor when you finish. You can practice unrestricted in all 50 states. You will be able to write prescriptions, deliver babies , perform surgery etc. In addition if you choose the DO path you will also recieve training in osteopathic manual medicine and have access to both DO and MD matches.
I've been dealing with a variety of people from different walks of life telling me that DO's arent real doctors or whatnot. Most of them have never been treated by a DO. To answer your Dad's concern about money:
I know several DO's who only practice OMM (family practice and OMM residency. ) and they make huge sums in all-cash practices. So the money issue really isnt an issue. There are easier ways to make money than to go into medicine.
As for the other questions, consider this : Osteopathic med is pretty much the only field of medicine that is actually growing. Osteo schools are being opened up and the current schools are growing. This shows a trend in our society.
although I dont envy your choice with regard to your dad, I do have to point out that its you who will have to live with your choice, and If you want to become a DO, its your choice to make, whether it turns out to be a mistake for you or not. Wouldn't it suck to look back 20 years from now and say "I wanted to do this but I didnt because of my dad" ... Im not saying this will happen, but if you do what YOU want, you can only blame yourself, if you do what HE wants, you can blame him....Im sure he'd like that