Hem-Onc and DO

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by ErinG, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. ErinG

    ErinG Member
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    I'm considering hem-onc (perhaps a little premature, considering I have yet to apply to med schools :rolleyes: ), and I am convinced of the benefits a DO can bring to the field of hem-onc.
    Any other opinions/ideas?? Anyone agree/disagree??
     
  2. rbassdo

    rbassdo newly hindu
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    ErinG,

    I don't see any reason why a DO couldn't make a good heme/onco doc. Especially if that person has a strong background and love of research in histology/pathology. That brings me to my real opinion. Unfortunately, osteopaths have not placed a great deal of time and attention into research the way the allopathic establishment has. Not until recently have most DO schools taken clinical research seriously in terms of a supplement to their medical training programs. At KCOM, there has been a big push from the administration to encourage students to pursue a master's degree, in the least, in order to get more clinician/researching hybrid docs out there that are also DO's. Most allopathic med schools offer dual degree programs. Okay...so you don't need a huge research background to be an oncologist, but an MD's training might be more research oriented since most allopathic schools have lots more research faculty and less clinical faculty, by comparison to DO schools. That's why 60%, or so, of osteopaths go into primary care. That's not the only reason, actually, but I'm sure it has SOMETHING to do with it.

    This is just my opinion. I interviewed at two DO schools and two MD schools. The two MD schools were terribly interested in my clinical/research experiences and the DO schools couldn't care less. One interviewer said frankly, "We don't care about what you did in the lab, here." It's unfortunate but true.
     
  3. RockandRolldoc

    RockandRolldoc Senior Member
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    My father'sassociate that shares one of his offices is a D.O. heme/onc. By far one of the most brilliant physicians I've had the pleasure of shadowing. D.O's exist in every branch of medicine and they all have a lot to offer to their fields.
     
  4. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    I know of a few DO heme/onc Drs in my town and they are highly respected.
     
  5. ErinG

    ErinG Member
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    Disclaimer: I truly respect MDs, and the following is just an idea; I believe that MDs have been invaluable in the "battle" against cancer.
    That said, these are my thoughts...

    Hey, thanks everyone for the responses. I posted this inquiry intitally because I feel like cancer patients have always been treated by the allopathic community as disease first, patient second, if at all. Of course, MDs are invaluable in the course of treatment for cancer, but there are obvious shortcomings, and I would argue that some of these shortcomings come about because the allopathic philosophy focuses on the part of the person that is afflicted with disease. An ostepathic physician may be able to see a cancer patient's cancer as well as afflictions of (say for example) his/her spine/back because he/she has been sedentary for so long, and use OMM to alleviate this pain. Also, since I've been volunteering with cancer patients for a few years now, I am always struck with their overwhelming desire to be treated as people (and that means talking with them for more than ten minutes, and about more than just cancer). So many of the patients I encounter have more life in them than most well people I know, and they like to talk about their lives and experiences, not just about their prognoses and what type of cancer they have.

    Bottom line: I believe that the DO philosophy complements hem-onc beautifully, and may be what hem-onc needs to combat cancer more effectively.

    Any opinions?
     
  6. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
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    Sure I have an opinion, why not?! I know you are going to hate to hear this but I can't help myself: you think like a pre-med :rolleyes:

    There, sorry, I had to say it.

    1) Most MDs I know don't think of their patients in terms of their disease...I have not noticed any difference between MDs and DOs in their approach to patients. Some are wonderfully compassionate and others are total jerks, the letters after the name don't seem to make much of a difference.

    2) Wake up and smell the bills. Very few physicians have the time to give their patients a "back rub", therapeutic or not. OMM is wonderfull, would be great for my bed ridden patient, but it usually takes second sit to my patient's worsening pancythopenia...

    3) Just because one might be a great hem/onc DO that doesn't make that physician equally proefficient at OMM. One's time is probably best spent in their area of expertise. You can always refer your hem/onc patients to a physician whose bilk of practice is OMM, who has a special qualification in OMM or even to PT.

    I am sure you disagree with me know. Let's talk again when you are a resident :D
     
  7. ErinG

    ErinG Member
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    UHS2002,

    Hmmmm, I wouldn't want to be under your care...
    I also know MDs and DOs whose outlooks become clouded by "waking up and smelling the bills" (to paraphrase your post), and they are miserable. Are you going into medicine for the right reasons? (or are you already a doctor and are you jaded like many of the other docs I know?)

    Regardless, it's pretty sad that you bristle at the mention of giving a cancer patient care beyond dispensing meds.
     
  8. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
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    This is getting better and better by the post: "...are you going into medicine for the right reasons..."

    It is very amusing when pre-meds come up with this stuff

    :laugh:

    ErinG, you have much to learn, starting by DOs and MDs practice the SAME TYPE OF MEDICINE, neither profession has the monopoly on "caring for the whole person". Please, spare the adcoms the shmaltzy rethoric too, nobody believes in it anymore.

    Not to mention that you missed my point totally, oh well. Let me see:

    How much OMM have you done so far???? I hope none, since you are not even a DO student. Therefore, are you aware that it takes 1)skill 2)time ???? It is not swedish massage, you know?! If you ever think one of your patients can benefit from it, you have to: 1)find the dysfunction 2)treat it, often a lot more than once. So, you are a hem/onc, and you are going to be seen your patients for OMM every two weeks?! Gotta ROFL .

    If you think they need OMM, why not refer them to physicians who focus mostly on OMM? You have to do it a lot in your practice to keep your skills sharp. If you don't do it enough you are doing your patients a disservice by practicing on them rather than refering them to someone better than you...

    Now, if you think that your patients just could benefit from some therapeutic touch or an oportunity to talk, you can do that as an MD or DO, it doesn't matter what your title is.

    Again, if you make into med school, through med school and on to residency, you will look back on a lot of the things you just said and think "wasn't that presumptuous and immature on my part to say that?!" We all have these moments when we look back and laugh at our quixotesque pre-med notions. It is not that we are "jaded" as you put it, although we all get here with a healthy degree of cinicism. It is that we have a more mature understanding of our role as physicians, because now we ARE practicing medicine rather than fantasizing about it.
     
  9. rbassdo

    rbassdo newly hindu
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    UHS2000 and ErinG,

    I agree with portions of both your arguments. I agree with UHS2000 that overemphasizing the "mind, body, spirit, love" thing is kind of broken because the person makes the doc...period. DO's can make "huge" asses just as MD's can. I've had lots of cancer experience in terms of contact with oncologists. One thing's for sure...oncologists, in general, are very caring, concerned people no matter what the letters behind their name says.

    As a side note to Erin G...I wouldn't count on maintaining all of your beliefs and attitudes just as they now once you actually begin experiencing medical school. It's a whole new reality that is really REALLY difficult to see if you are an outsider. In fact, I'm convinced that non-clinical staff members (ie-student affairs, counselling, etc) have no clue what it's really like and they're right here! I sense that only the clinicians and PhD.'s really understand what's happening. Believe me! I had no clue.

    Ryan
     

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