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How to better promote Osteopathic medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by jcharness, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. jcharness

    jcharness Junior Member

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    One of the biggest issues surrounding osteopathic medicine is the lack of general knowledge about the practice and philosophy that it entails. In what ways do you all think osteopathic medicine can be better promoted and accepted? What can Osteopathic schools do to help sell their schools and promote the osteopathic philosophy to prospective medical students? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


    Justin Charness
    American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
    5550 Friendship Blvd., Ste. 310
    Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231
    [email protected]
    voice: 301-943-8794
     
  2. shttthttle

    shttthttle Member
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    Seperate the country and into regions 7 or 6 states per region; find cities that are centrally located and and hold Pre-Osteopathic Conventions. The conventions would be 1-2 days long with information sessions for pre-medical students...interview skills, volunteering, osteopathic philosophy, etc. Also have representatives from all affiliated schools at at the convention. Send out information to schools' pre-med committees and to pre-med organizations...Health Professions Society, AED, etc. In my opinion, its a marketing issue...its really sad when pre-medical students ask me "so you are gonna be a DO, I thought you wanted to be a doctor?" or "isn't a DO just an LPN?"
     
  3. Boner

    Boner I just blue myself
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    Couldn't agree more. The more we educate the community at large about osteopathic medicine, the more people will understand what osteopathic medicine is all about.
    So why not have each school host an open house for the community with some general wellness evaluations by medical students and demonstrations and displays. I think the free health evals (i.e. blood pressure check, etc...) would draw lots of people in and give people a chance to learn about osteopathic principles at the same time.
    Another idea is to have schools or AACOM create an initiative to spread awareness of osteopathic medicine. This could include writing editorials to papers or, even better, have a local paper print an article about the local school.
    Again, marketing, marketing, marketing. The more people are aware of our chosen profession, the more people will understand what its about and the more pre-meds will be inclined to apply to osteopathic medical schools.
     
  4. JasonUD

    JasonUD PGY-I
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    I said this before but I really think that if we could get a DO into pop. culture on a show like Grey's Anatomy, ER, or House then many people will see what Osteopathy is all about. Millions of Americans watch these shows every week. A likable DO that fits into the show's story line but also shows the viewer a bit of osteopathy in action will have a great effect on our profession. Anybody up for some letter writing to the producers of these shows?
     
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  5. strawberryfield

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    I know some schools already do this... KCOM is an example, this is probably more prevalent w/ the DO schools that have hospitals on campus. I think the people of the communities near DO schools will likely be more familiar w/ DO's, especially in a more rural community like Kirksville.... so I like shttthttle's idea of doing conferences in major cities, that would get the awareness out more, but really it seems to me, so far in what clinical experiences I've had that most patients will never know if their doctor is an MD or DO, unless they ask, or are specifically seeking osteopathic treatment... in the medical community, there is nothing left to prove, although awareness to the public could have more and more people actively seeking DO's for treatment, even in areas where they are not prevalent.
     
  6. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    DOs have grown leaps and bounds...it is just hard to see when you are in it. Go back to the 50s/60s and before that..... They were viewed as about the same education level as a mid/low level carib school back then. Could good doctors come out of it? Of course....but the problem was that most of the medical community viewed it an insufficient medical education. It is difficult for those old school MDs (my dad included) to shake that stigma. I grew up with that stigma as well for a while.....I was told when I was younger to always pick an MD over a DO originally...My dad has since backstepped on his ideas a bit after seeing the doctors that are being turned out. There isn't too much you can do besides be proper doctors and let the numbers grow and the work speak for itself....which I think is the current trend with osteopathic schools. They are coming off as money grubbing but if this streak of new schools graduates a proper doctor then it will only help the overall perception.
     
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  7. VALSALVA

    VALSALVA sh*t or get off the pot
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    The best way to promote Osteopathic medicine is to out-perform your allopathic student colleagues on clinical rotations. I really think that's the most effective thing a student can do.
     
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  8. cbenedic

    cbenedic Wolverine for life
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    i agree with JasonUD...everybody watches tv and getting D.O.'s acknowledged in the media would be a tremendous leap forward. I remember I saw some insurance commercial a year ago for health professionals and they showed the faces of three doctors and one was a d.o...which i thought was pretty cool. having positive exposure of osteopathic medicine to college students today would help alot. I honestly never heard of a D.O. until my senior year of college..and i went to university of michigan where there are many many d.o. doctors in that state. And also maybe more education on how M.D.'s and D.O.'s work together harmoniously rather than pitted against each other. I have some M.D. acquaintances who just have this negative stigma and look down on D.O's...but then again it could just be their personalities :oops:
     
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  9. strawberryfield

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    the AMA also has commercials featuring DO's
     
  10. DrFeelgoodMD

    DrFeelgoodMD below is a TRUE avatar...
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    They named a city after him??? :confused:
     
  11. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    There is a chevy chase in england as well..I'd assume that is the original.
     
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  12. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Every college or university had a premed club of one type or another. The one at my undergrad university met at least once a week during the semester and had speakers from almost every profession-- MD, DDS, PA, NP, MPH, DPM, etc....but not a single DO. Apparently, until I applied to some DO schools, no one had applied from my university in many years. They just applied to one (or both) of the MD schools in my state, just like the advisors had been telling them to do year after year. Most of the literature sent to advisors end up in the premed advisor's trash anyway. Honestly, the premed advisors in so many schools don't even have adequate knowledge of DOs; how can you expect the students to be better prepared?

    The schools themselves can't do a whole lot. What needs to happen is that practicing DOs in communities with colleges and universities need to get involved with high school and college students. The Osteopathic schools can't do this because most states don't even have an Osteopathic school. Perhaps some national organization will take the lead, contacting local DOs in areas with colleges and universities and match them up with a premed advisor. These students tend to follow the advice of premed advisors even if the advice is faulty. Let's give them some good material to work with, and the students will follow along.
     
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  13. WiscoDO

    WiscoDO Member
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    These are all good points to increase public awareness of osteopathic medicine. As for the last point about DOs from schools going into the community, I know CCOM actively participates in high school and college pre-health seminars around chicago in troducing students to osteopathic medicine, along with the other chicago med schools being there. Perhaps thats why CCOM is well known in the area.
     
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  14. jcharness

    jcharness Junior Member

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    Im not sure if any of you have heard of Pre-SOMA, but it is an undergraduate pre-osteopathic club started by the AOA. Here is their website http://www.studentdo.com/pre-soma.htm if yor college doesnt already have one, I would suggest starting one. You can spread the philosophy of osteopathic medicne throughout your college and community by holding a question session, volunteer activities, etc with the club.
     
  15. sayoc

    sayoc Senior Member
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    Hi Justin,

    I agree with JasonUD and Valsalva. Mass media is the quickest way to pomote DO. We had a chance but Time screwed us by printing "Hero MD". Another ways is to build hospitals. Every medical school should have it's own hospital and research building.

    sayoc
     
  16. AngryBaby

    AngryBaby El Hefe
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    I've got my state DO school ranked above a few (not all) of the MD programs here and if that's where I end up going then after my 2nd year I intend to give a short presentation or 2 at my old undergrad campus during either the Health Advisory Committee's annual presentation to premeds or at a pre-med club meeting, or both, and continue it anually as long as I have time. I think if only 50% of the DO students did this with their own respective undergrad schools this would help tremendously regarding general awareness and understanding.
     
  17. San_Juan_Sun

    San_Juan_Sun Professor of Life
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    I propose a massive postcard campaign flooding the producers and writers of these shows with requests to write DOs into the show.
     
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  18. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I think it's a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, I won't be anywhere near my undergrad institution and won't be able to do it. However, I know of at least five people from my alma mater who are applying to DO schools this cycle, simply because I did. We had two pre-med advisors, but one retired two years ago. The retiree had been there since 1978, I think. Much hadn't changed in those almost 30 years. The new advisor is young by comparison, but also inexperienced to a degree. For instance, he was unaware of the Anesthesia Assistant program even though my state is one of maybe 20 that licenses them. He had heard of osteopathic schools, but really knew very little about them. He had a PhD in Physiology and never really thought about going to med school himself, how would he really know all that much about it? Things are getting a lot better, though. This coming semester, there will be DOs included in the pre-med presentations. While I won't be able to attend them myself, I feel happy that a lot more college students will be exposed to the DO curiculum, simply because I took the time to talk to the pre-med advisor.

    Wherever I finally do end up in practice, I hope to spend some time at the nearby colleges or universities selling the profession. I just wish there were more like you and me that wanted to do the same. No matter what kind of marketing schemes take place on a national level, nothing beats one-on-one interaction. A few DOs in each state giving up one day per month could have more effect than all the press in the world, in my opinion. Word-of-mouth is the best advertisement of all. Talk to your sales experts; they'll tell you that. If you want to "sell" the profession, you've got to get that word-of-mouth started, and the best way is by getting someone to coordinate a "grass roots campaign."
     
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