RPalmerDO

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I'm in a shadowing program at a local trauma center, where there are many DO's and MD's. One day, I spent my entire shift with a particular DO. I overheard one of the young nurses say (maybe or maybe not in jest), "You're not a real doctor anyway- you're a DO."

My jaw dropped to the floor, but I have to tell you, the doc handled it so well! His reply: "Watch out, I know manipulation and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Are we prepared to defend ourselves in a professional way in response to ignorant comments such as the aforementioned?
 

LVDoc

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Most of the people I've spoken to have been quite receptive to the osteopathic philosophy, but in all cases, they respected the fact that an osteopathic physician is a medical doctor, with all rights and privileges granted. I would expect a confused response from a layperson, however never from a healthcare worker in a professional setting. Though these comments shouldn't be mentioned at all, I'm surprised that these nurses had the audacity to mention it aloud, in his face. I only hope these nurses know that they are working alongside these M.D.'s and D.O.'s, and correct me if I'm wrong, the medical heirarchy does not start with nurses nor does it end with D.O.'s. I wonder what will happen when they become openly defiant to instructions by these 'fake' doctors; oh wait...I know; they'll likely be reprimanded by their own nursing administrators.

The most important thing we can do as future physicians is to explain, calmly, and rationally what exactly are the philosophies that osteopathic physicians subscribe to, and how our treatment is the most comprehensive of both medical worlds. That's it. There's no room in there for us to respond negatively to these comments. We need to carry ourselves in a professional manner at all times, because we as future or current physicians, represent osteopathy to its fullest extent. There is no else to communicate the message of our foundations and scope but us.
 

Kevbot

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LVDoc said:
Most of the people I've spoken to have been quite receptive to the osteopathic philosophy, but in all cases, they respected the fact that an osteopathic physician is a medical doctor, with all rights and privileges granted. I would expect a confused response from a layperson, however never from a healthcare worker in a professional setting. Though these comments shouldn't be mentioned at all, I'm surprised that these nurses had the audacity to mention it aloud, in his face. I only hope these nurses know that they are working alongside these M.D.'s and D.O.'s, and correct me if I'm wrong, the medical heirarchy does not start with nurses nor does it end with D.O.'s. I wonder what will happen when they become openly defiant to instructions by these 'fake' doctors; oh wait...I know; maybe they'll either be reprimanded, or lose their employment completely.
Lets not turn this into a thread about stereotyping nurses. Whether it was a nurse, an MD, or a "layperson" who said it, tact is a personal problem, not a function of hierarchy.
 

LVDoc

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While I agree with you that tact is a personal problem, this was referenced in a professional setting. There can be potential consequences with as to how someone carries themselves in these types of situations. I did not mean to go about stereotyping nurses, I am simply saying there are rules to abide by in the workplace. Anyone who has ever had a job should know this.
 

Careofme

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LVDoc said:
While I agree with you that tact is a personal problem, this was referenced in a professional setting. There can be potential consequences with as to how someone carries themselves in these types of situations. I did not mean to go about stereotyping nurses, I am simply saying there are rules to abide by in the workplace. Anyone who has ever had a job should know this.

Come on!! It was a joke! If we lose our humor what else will be left?? Good reply by the do.
 

DORoe

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Careofme said:
Come on!! It was a joke! If we lose our humor what else will be left?? Good reply by the do.
Yes! Finally someone that is able to recognize a joke!
 

medicine1

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I still pose the question of how we can spread the word about Osteopathy.
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=177610

We must battle ignorance, but with compassion. I don't know if I would have been as kind as that other physician though, when the young nurse said,"You're not a real doctor anyway- you're a DO." I suppose there are limits, but that might have fired me up. I agree with LVDoc that we need to be professional about any situation that comes flying our way. It is our job to destroy that ignorance, and enlighten people about who we are and what we stand for...and that we are not doctor wanna-be's.
 

DORoe

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medicine1 said:
I still pose the question of how we can spread the word about Osteopathy.
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=177610

We must battle ignorance, but with compassion. I don't know if I would have been as kind as that other physician though, when the young nurse said,"You're not a real doctor anyway- you're a DO." I suppose there are limits, but that might have fired me up. I agree with LVDoc that we need to be professional about any situation that comes flying our way. It is our job to destroy that ignorance, and enlighten people about who we are and what we stand for...and that we are not doctor wanna-be's.
Then undoubtably you would have made yourself look silly. Look, the nurse in this case was joking with the doctor. I admit I wasn't there, but just by the DO's response I can be pretty sure that it was good-natured joshing. As long as it wasn't in front of patients what is the big deal?
 

JMC_MarineCorps

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RPalmerDO said:
"You're not a real doctor anyway- you're a DO."
The integrity of our profession is being compromised at this very moment...people that say such things must be silenced immediately. Call Dr. Thomas...we must get the AOA involved STAT. Forget the letter writing campaign to Oprah...we must silence the infidels!

Professional setting or not...from the context of the conversation, it is clear that these two were having fun and joking around. They still allow that in the workplace, no?

RPalmerDO said:
"Watch out, I know manipulation and I'm not afraid to use it!"
That is solid! I might have to 'borrow' that one.
 

LVDoc

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If it was a joke, then I stand corrected, and none of this should have really mattered in the first place. I was thrown off by the OP's statements though, ie. "jaw dropped to the floor" and "ignorant comments." I admit though, I did like the doc's response, and if it was in good-natured fun, it's fine - but if it's not, then I would've thought it inappropriate. Even in the latter situation, however, I wouldn't have said anything outright. Sometimes it's better to just keep those things to yourself, and let them be.
 

J1515

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First of all, it was a joke. The fact that some of you couldn't notice that and were immediately up in arms about the public needing to be educated, the nurse losing her job, integrity of our profession, etc... shows just how insecure some of you really are. Why are you even getting into osteopathy if you're so worried about what someone/other people think? It should be what you want to do. The whole situation mentioned above was good natured. What's going to happen if a patient tells you "I don't want a DO, I want to see a real doctor!" Are you going to report them to the local police department and cry yourself to sleep that night? So what if a nurse makes a <serious> negative comment about DO's...are you going to go running to the head of the department and tattle on her? Who cares. You should be confident enough in your skills as a doctor and that alone will speak for itself. No, it's not professional, but there comes a point where you just go about your business and be the bigger man (or woman).

The fact is if we could get all pre-meds to shut their mouths, most of this "MD vs. DO" myth would disappear. 96.32% of the time it doesn't exist after undergrad.
 

LVDoc

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You need to reread my post very carefully. This is not about insecurity; this is about professionalism in a workplace environment. Take this situation out of context in the case where it was not a joke - if this was overheard by an administrator or a superior of any sort in the hospital management, it would NOT be taken lightly. You are not dealing with patients here; you are dealing with other medical professionals - nurses.

I am sure you know the statistics already. Only 5% of the physician population consists of D.O.'s. The general public is very misinformed about what osteopathic physicians are capable of doing, and often associate it with orthopedics or chiropratics. If you want your profession to remain in the same state, then fine, you can go ahead and be a passive nobody as you watch the changes unfold around you. Individually, a person will stand out as a good doctor regardless of his/her title, however, collectively as a profession, we need to make the public aware that we are out there, serving these communities.

If a patient doesn't want to see a D.O., that's fine. They can have their own preference. I can probably tell you right now they the only reason they wouldn't want to see one is because they don't know what it is. And, if the people of your own profession aren't willing to change its state, who will? What do I see in the regards to the combined match? The students making petitions and distributing them, not the AOA. We, as students, need to do something.

Stop taking my post and overreacting with it. These are concerns that need to be addressed; no one can deny that.
 

DORoe

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LVDoc said:
You need to reread my post very carefully. This is not about insecurity; this is about professionalism in a workplace environment. Take this situation out of context in the case where it was not a joke - if this was overheard by an administrator or a superior of any sort in the hospital management, it would NOT be taken lightly. You are not dealing with patients here; you are dealing with other medical professionals - nurses.
Yes you are dealing with nurses that you work with everyday. You are dealing with your friends. You should show them respect, but good natured ribbing is a fact of life. Lighten up a little bit. I swear if I worked in a place like you are describing I would quit.

LVDoc said:
I am sure you know the statistics already. Only 5% of the physician population consists of D.O.'s. The general public is very misinformed about what osteopathic physicians are capable of doing, and often associate it with orthopedics or chiropratics. If you want your profession to remain in the same state, then fine, you can go ahead and be a passive nobody as you watch the changes unfold around you. Individually, a person will stand out as a good doctor regardless of his/her title, however, collectively as a profession, we need to make the public aware that we are out there, serving these communities.
I'm sure that the above poster would not appreciate you calling them a nobody. You who speaks of professionalism. I'm willing to bet that if you ask people in communities served by DO's you would find that they know what a DO is "capable of doing." What would you have us do make commercials like freakin lawyers for God's sake. Be a good physician that's all you need to do. People will come if your a good doc. I'm all for more people knowing about DO's, but frankly if we have to sell out the profession (like I think they did with that stupid letter writing campaign) then you can count me as one of those "passive nobody's." Try volunteering in the community doing health screenings, or giving physical exams, or try spending some time in a free clinic. That's what this "passive nobody" will be doing to get the word out while people like you are sitting at your desk trying to figure out the best way to spend the valuable AOA funds that could be spent improving GME on asinine things like getting a DO on ER.

LVDoc said:
If a patient doesn't want to see a D.O., that's fine. They can have their own preference. I can probably tell you right now they the only reason they wouldn't want to see one is because they don't know what it is. And, if the people of your own profession aren't willing to change its state, who will? What do I see in the regards to the combined match? The students making petitions and distributing them, not the AOA. We, as students, need to do something.
I can probably tell you right now their reason for not going to a DO. They had a bad experience with one. Be a good doc and that will solve that problem. I can deal with the other very small minority that won't come to a DO because they feel they are inferior.

LVDoc said:
Stop taking my post and overreacting with it. These are concerns that need to be addressed; no one can deny that.
What concerns are you refering to? Some random nurse along the way might say something that offends you? If that is your concern I can deny it. If your concern is about public recognition of the osteopathic profession then again I can partially deny it. It doesn't have to be institutional, it needs to be individual. It is the "passive nobody" that will bring about recognition not the AOA they have had quite a long time to do that and have failed as of this point. For example, everyone knows what a DO is in this part of Ohio. They know because of all the community work we do. We have traveling health screenings, sponsor charities, and do countless other things to serve the community. That is the way to get the word out, not flyers or commercials.
 
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RPalmerDO

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It wasn't exactly good natured joking between the nurse and the doc. Rather, it was a feeble attempt at sarcasm on the nurse's part because he didn't like the orders that the doctor gave him. However, the nurse did laugh at the DO's response. My main point is that there is a good possibility that at some time in our careers as DO's, we will face a situation similar to the one I witnessed. It may be in a professional environment or some other situation. My question is, are we prepared to respond gracefully to the criticism like the DO that I witnessed did?


And yes, I agree, I may use his line at some point too!
 

J1515

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DORoe said:
I'm sure that the above poster would not appreciate you calling them a nobody.

QUOTE]

Trust me, I honestly don't care what he or she or anybody else calls me. The profession will get recognized by putting more quality DOs out there and that's the only way. Not by crying and throwing a temper tantrum everytime somebody says something bad about a DO.
 

OSUdoc08

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The nurse or whomever is still required to address you as "Dr. __________,"

so who really cares?

You do know that actual physicans don't.
 

dkwyler94

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And I have said to some of my MD attendings, "Well, afterall, your just an MD. You only treat the disease-not the whole person." (Based of course on the FACOP saying that is unique to DOs). You have to be able to joke.

Since I plan on matching into an MD residency and working in an area of the country with minimal DOs and likely for a MD residency program if all goes as plan, I am sure I will be one of the few DOs anyone really works with. If I get defensive anyone makes a real or imaginary comment about DOs, that is my problem-not theirs.

David
 
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RPalmerDO

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OSUdoc08 said:
The nurse or whomever is still required to address you as "Dr. __________,"

so who really cares?

You do know that actual physicans don't.
Yes, I certainly agree with you that generally, most MD's regard DO's as equal colleagues. However, my intent with reference to this post, in particular, was to provoke in depth thought about personally handling comments about the subject, whether said seriously or in jest. Because I feel so strongly about osteopathic medicine, I never actually contemplated what I would say in response to a comment as such. It is certainly not my intent to address the age old argument about whether a DO is equivalent to an MD!

Thanks- I appreciate your feedback!
 

timtye78

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As a new intern DO, I want to tell you that you probably will get other comments from RNs or whatever regardless of being MD/DO.

Without coming down to hard on RNs, there are a select few of them who, for various reasons (won't get into this mess), will take 'jabs' at you, and they will watch your response. There are manipulative nurses (not referring to OMT!) who will absoluteley try to intimidate you into doing everything they want. They think that if they bug you enough, you as the new intern or attending will eventually do whatever they think they need.

I have the most negative experiences with nurses in the Emergency dept at my hospital.

Now the DO comments: Nurses will make off-hand comments about DO-stuff and anything else they think of. Some get entertained by catching someone off guard. They would love you to turn red in the face, and explode about how good your training was, how prestigious your residency training, etc. I think what the DO in the first post said about manipulation was great! I hope that some late night when I am tired and p/o'd, that I don't become the next laughingstock by exploding when someone makes a comment like that. I think RNs all have heard some story about how funny it was when Dr So-and so went through the roof when they made the comment. I think they recognize that you may seriously prick someone's pride in a very 'tender' area, and I think they just are after a good laugh at someone elses expense.

How would they like it if you asked them how they ever graduated from some night-class vocational school! "Hey, Bob I got my degree the same place you got your RN, I took internet classes and printed off my diploma, too!" :laugh:

Believe me, you will NEVER win an arguement-and I LOVE to argue. Turn the joke around on them, and you both may get a good laugh. Get ready for this because it happens all the time.

MD interns get cracks from nurses too! eg. "No! We called for the doctor, not Doogie Howser!" "All you interns do is intubate, then us nurses do everything else!!" (referring to code blues). Relax, enjoy, laugh with them- he11, laugh
AT them-I sure am glad I will never be a nurse! I may be a 'fake' doctor, but my paycheck will show the difference between them and me! :laugh: :D

You get the point!