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How about MD-DO, MD-O, etc.?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by fisgig, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. fisgig

    fisgig Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    boston, MA
    Just wanted some feedback on an issue:

    If the letters DO are the main reason lay people do not know what osteopathy really is, then why not use MD-DO, MD-O, etc.? You can still practice osteopathy and maintain uniqueness while getting the respect such an awesome profession deserves. After all, DO's are medical doctors differing only in OMT training and certain medical philosophies. Why let letters hold the profession back? I agree with the AOA's attempts to make the DO a household name, but an MD is an MD. It is what most americans associate with "doctor" and I believe there are not enough ads that will change the minds of the uneducated.
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  3. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    Well, actually, those ads may not even change the minds of the educated. [​IMG]

    In any event, do you really think MD-DO or MDO would make it any easier for the average lay person? And if the DO differs from the MD in only OMT and "certain medical philosophies," gee, let's make Chiropractors MDCs, dentists MD-ddss/MD-dmds, Podiatrists MDPs, etc. The fact is the field of osteopathic medicine is entirely unique and, believe it or not, the DO is a fairly recognizable degree in the US. The degree to which the lay public understands what a DO is in no way compares to their understanding of what the MD signifies, but it's not completely obscure.

    There was some funny guy lurking about SDN for a few weeks who insisted on calling all the MDs here DAs (Doctor of Allopathic Medicine, I suppose). It didn't catch on. [​IMG]

    The proposal that osteopathic colleges grant their graduates MDs or some variant thereof is not a new idea. It's hit SDN several times in the three or four years I've been involved. When AT Still first founded osteopathy, in fact, his early students pushed him to award the MD because their DOs (which at the time stood for "Diplomate in Osteopathy") were being laughed at. Still wouldn't budge on the issue of awarding MDs and suggested to his students that they get MDs elsewhere after completing the DO. One-hundred years later and this argument is still going strong.

    The current leadership is pretty hell-bent on keeping osteopathic medicine separate from allopathic medicine. Good for them. [​IMG] It was only recently that all 19 of the nation's osteopathic medical colleges began awarding the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, DO, where it used to read "Doctor of Osteopathy."

    Hey, what about DOM? [​IMG]

    Perhaps the next generation of osteopathic leadership will finally give that SMALL minority what they've wanted all along: an MD. [​IMG]

    By the way, I also think the AMA/AAMC has the sole right in this country to award MDs. So any measure the AOA wants to take in awarding MDs in the US would have to be approved by the AMA/AAMC -- and you can bet, with the traditional feuding between the two groups (usually on the part of a stubborn AOA), that ain't gonna happen.

    Tim Wu.

    [This message has been edited by turtleboard (edited March 29, 2001).]
  4. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    Some history. Call it what you will--battle, rivalry, hostility--between allopaths and osteopaths has an old undistinguished history. The AMA long lobbied (and, I think, instituted law suits) against osteopaths becoming licensed as medical doctors. At one point the AMA switched to an attempt to co-opt them and have osteopathic colleges meet AMA and AAMC standards and award the MD degree. The AOA angrily turned that down. The legal battle was lost by the AMA sometime in the 1970s, I believe, and, allopathic and osteopathic medicine have co-existed peacefully since. This is not to say that attitudes have changed: witness the many posts in this forum. The fact of the matter is that osteopaths and allopaths have to meet the same requirements for admission to their respective medical schools, undergo the same medical training, except for the addition of physical manipulation for the osteopaths, and meet the same requirements for licensure.

    Grade requirements for admission to medical schools--and other health professions schools--rise and fall with the number of applicants in the pool. From the mid- to late '60s, when the pool was low and a rapid increase in number of new medical schools was beginning, a GPA of about 2.8, and sometimes even under that, was competitive! Does that mean that more incompetent physicians, dentists, etc, were being turned out. Not at all!

    The high GPA and MCAT scores needed today to be accepted to medical school (and other professional schools) reflect only the high level of competitiveness in a larger applicant pool. If, as and when the current applicant pool decreases in size you will find the bar set lower and medical students and graduates will still be as competent as the high flyers being turned out today.

    This unpleasant news should, but probably won't, deflate some egos. This same news
    will probably irritate and anger many unsuccessful candidates who now know they are competent enough to become the excellent physicians they believe they could be but are unable to squeeze through today's bottleneck. This ought to give pause, but probably also won't, to those who think "affirmative action" for minorities allows incompetents to slip under the bar. [The issue of "fairness" is another matter entirely, like evolution, being discussed to death in other forums and best left there].

  5. prolixless

    prolixless Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Changing the DO degree to anything remotely similar to "MD" (e.g. MD-O) tends to lessen the uniqueness of the degree. Remember that "DO" represents a philosophy on viewing the body/mind and how medical treatment should be applied. Many DO's don't want to be confused with MD's because not all MD's embrace the osteopathic philosophy. For the DO's that exist who also don't embrace the osteopathic philosophy, they are probably far fewer in proportion compared to the MD's.

    As others have remarked, educating the masses about osteopathic medicine will have to come from the spark of entertainment media, such as movies and sitcoms. Throw a DO physician into the "ER" script or make Tony Sorprano's nephew a DO. . .whatever it takes to brainwash the masses. I think we're more apt to see people growing a curiosity toward osteopathic medicine if it is first portrayed as prestigious and respectable on tv or movies. A few ads placed in "O" magazine for nine months is a good start, but it is somewhat naive to our often superficial and intellectually passive society. After all, consider that a huge portion of pre-med college students, who are suppossed to be broadly educated and insightful, still tend to view osteopathic medicine as an inferior field of medicine.
  6. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son 10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2000
    ...DOM??? Okay, I could go for that, as long as they passed out bottles of Dom Perignon at graduation!!!

    Serious tho, as a future DO (woo-ha!) I have no problem with the <overexaggerated> lack of recognition of the DO degree. AT THE END OF EACH DAY I'M STILL GOING TO BE A DOCTOR OF MEDICINE!! Enough said.

    As a footnote, when I got into school back in November I was so excited I just about told everyone I knew about it...I was pleasantly surprised HOW LITTLE I had to explain what a DO was! In fact, several people actually congratulated me on my choice of DO over MD, as they had had such great experiences with DOs.

    Fact is, if you want to be a DO go for it...if you're some ignorant, vain pre-med stuck up on two stupid letters, DON'T GO OSTEOPATHIC! You'll only perpetuate the outdated, re-tah-ded stereotype of DOs!


    PCOM Class of 2005
  7. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2001
    Hey Tim, welcome back. Care to back that statement up? I'm just curious as to the legal mumbo jumbo behind it.


  8. TNT

    TNT Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    Changing the name of our degree is nonsense, and is very, very unlikely to happen, so i don't understand why people keep on bringing it up. oh well. I think the future of osteopathic medicine is very bright, and the quality of students produced each year gets better and better. Unlike some vocal people on this board, I think most DO students are like me, and could care less whether we have a DO or MD after our names. It is virtually meaningless when in the end both will be practicing one thing.....medicine. Some students turn down MD to go DO, some only applied to DO, and some could only got into DO. Whatever the situation was, most of the DO students don't lose sleep over this,I think, trivial issue.

    oh, by the way, good to see you're back Turtleboard. I read on another thread that someone proposed giving your an honorary DO degree for all your advice. sounds good to me. [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by TNT (edited March 29, 2001).]

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