Is there still a negative stigma associated with DOs?

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Dr. Josh

I really love the DO philosophy and will apply DO. If I apply to both DO and MD and am accepted to both (that would be a miracle in of itself) I'm not sure what I would choose. Even a DO whom I worked with asked me why I would want to apply DO. I'm just concerned because so many people seem to give DOs a negative stigma. Whereas I don't think they know what they're talking about, I'm a bit concerned.
 
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Dr. Josh

aaahhh.........here we go:rolleyes:

sorry, sorry, I'm really not trying to start anythinjg. I'm really confused. I'd definitely choose DO if if there wasn't a negative stigma. I'm just trying to ascertain if there really is one. Recently I was at family friends' house and they were complaining about their daughter's doctor and said "well he's a DO, so that's probably why he misdiagnosed..." I went on an attack of their prejudice and said just blame the dr and not his initials after his name.
 
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It's mostly pre-meds that think this way. My advise? Go shadow some DO's, in a setting that has both MD's and DO's present. Talk extensively to both. Build your own judgments on the issue. Choose the school that fits you best.
 
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Dr. Josh

It's mostly pre-meds that think this way. My advise? Go shadow some DO's, in a setting that has both MD's and DO's present. Talk extensively to both. Build your own judgments on the issue. Choose the school that fits you best.

I have shadowed a DO and he does everything an MD does and more. he's well respected and yet he said to me "Why would you want to go the DO route?" :scared:
 

spicedmanna

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sorry, sorry, I'm really not trying to start anythinjg. I'm really confused. I'd definitely choose DO if if there wasn't a negative stigma. I'm just trying to ascertain if there really is one. Recently I was at family friends' house and they were complaining about their daughter's doctor and said "well he's a DO, so that's probably why he misdiagnosed..." I went on an attack of their prejudice and said just blame the dr and not his initials after his name.

Yeah, prejudice is fairly universal. There are always going to be people who look to discriminate and prejudge. Whether it is two letters at the end of someone's name, it's gonna be something. As for me, I think I'll just let my work speak for itself, and I don't care about useless negative, destructive feedback. Like I said, it's mostly pre-meds and the older generation that have a negative view of DO's.
 

spicedmanna

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I have shadowed a DO and he does everything an MD does and more. he's well respected and yet he said to me "Why would you want to go the DO route?" :scared:

:laugh: Every MD I've shadowed has asked me something similar. I think it's just a test of your resolve and to make you think about what you really want.

Really, choose the school that fits you the best; do well in your boards and classes. These will matter more.
 

Toohotinvegas33

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I find it funny that you have to come here and ask the "all knowledgable" SDN population to see if a stigma is still around. Even after you shadowed a DO which you said was well respected and obviously had no stigma about him with his coworkers you still had to question it. As if there should be:rolleyes:
 

VPDcurt

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I really love the DO philosophy and will apply DO. If I apply to both DO and MD and am accepted to both (that would be a miracle in of itself) I'm not sure what I would choose. Even a DO whom I worked with asked me why I would want to apply DO. I'm just concerned because so many people seem to give DOs a negative stigma. Whereas I don't think they know what they're talking about, I'm a bit concerned.

Of course there is. If there wasn't, you wouldn't have posted this in the first place.
 

Tones24

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It's not negative - it's just DIFFERENT.


If you don't start accepting that, then there will be nothing to distinguish us from MD's
 

DragonWell

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It's not so much a stigma, as it is just ignorance and lack of experience with DOs. Once people understand that educationally and practically, DO pretty much equals MD, their reservations usually disappear.

The AOA gets bashed a little too frequently around here IMO, but this is one area where I do think they have done a poor job. In emphasizing how DOs are different (ie OMM), they haven't effectively gotten the word out about what DOs really do. There are still way too many people out there that think DOs are chiropractors, homeopaths, or eye doctors.
 
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DOs and MDs practice medicine in pretty much the same exact way. Once you get into the profession, and aside from some of the questions that are asked about what your degree means, DOs and MDs go about their business pretty much the same. Most patients probably wouldnt even notice.
 

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I think that if you are concerned with the "negative stigma" of being a DO, then its not for you. Of course theres going to be somme negative feedback...but is there "negative stigma" when you decide to be a republican or democrat? or a yankee fan or a mets fan (sorry NY blood here)? You will always be faced with opposition....not just in med school or in rotations or in practice but in every area of life...go with what your heart tells you...who cares what others think...the only person you have anything to prove is to yourself...so as long as you can do that...then you'll be fine
 

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Yeah, prejudice is fairly universal. There are always going to be people who look to discriminate and prejudge. Whether it is two letters at the end of someone's name, it's gonna be something.


Bingo! :thumbup: :thumbup:

I saw a two women talking last week, one of them did not want to go see a black Dermatologist because she said that the white Dr. would "Understand our skin better".

People have an innate drive to be prejudicial, if you spend all your time concerned with what people think, where will you find time for the doctoring?


I find it funny that you have to come here and ask the "all knowledgable" SDN population to see if a stigma is still around.

Exactly. OP: if you are concerned (as I was) go speak to medical professionals. Every MD I have asked said there is absolutely no difference in skill, quality of work, competence, etc. One MD (trained in India) actually favored DO because he said allopathic schools are slaves to the pharacutical business(His opinion, not mine).... but I digress.

Do not be concerned with what what patients think, most of them know nothing about medicine.
 

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Of course there is a stigma.

DOs are MDs + OMM

Therefore, DOs are more thoroughly trained.
 

Dr JPH

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There is nothing distinguishing DOs from MDs outside of some historical drivel and a few courses on OMM.

Ahh...I am glad the world of respiratory therapists are so enlightened that they understand the osteopathic philosophy. Or did you just read Gevitz and click around on SDN...because that wont give you the whole story.
 
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When I brought this up with the DO I shadowed, she said she's never felt any negative prejudice from her colleagues (the other drs in her practice were all MD's). I'm having trouble wording this the way I want, but she said she's almost felt the reverse, that other DO's have been unwilling/unhappy to work with MD's and felt that their OMM techniques set them apart. She also said that most often, she doesn't have the time to use OMM.
 

NickRiviera

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Ahh...I am glad the world of respiratory therapists are so enlightened that they understand the osteopathic philosophy. Or did you just read Gevitz and click around on SDN...because that wont give you the whole story.

snap.jpg
 

bigdog8829

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of course there is a stigma. why else would the "possibility" of it hound the sdn forums. why else would you, or i, or anyone else be worried about going do?
as pre-meds its our job to worry. worry about grades, mcat, interviews, acceptances. then we worry about more grades, boards, residencies.
I also think that as pre-meds it is WE WHO WORRY. As others have said, once you're in the real world practicing with md's there's not a difference. Sure some older dr.'s may have some bias, or you may run across a hot-shot md who thinks he's the sh!t. If those things bother you, then yes, you should consider allopathic schools only. but if you think that you will be able to suck it up, and simply perform in med school, you should do just fine. thats exactly what i plan on doing. sure the two letters after my name will be different, but that doesn't change the dream of being a doctor.
 

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As a current DO med student, of course I've heard stories about "the DO stigma". However, I've never blatantly experienced it. I may have seen subtle stigma, but I wonder if I sometimes read subtle stigma into situations where none really exists.

I think the real stigma stemmed from back in the days when DOs were viewed by the AMA as cultish. This was as recently as the 1950s! This explains why some of the older MDs see DOs suspiciously. Regardless, I think overt stigma will continue to fade away as the DOs and MDs practice medicine more and more similarly. Any DO discrimination that remains will be either from a person's preference or elitism. I have no problem with either.
 

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You'll still get some old school docs that have prejudice and some institutions that will not take DO students for away rotations or look down on you when you apply for residency. The prejudice is there but I think it is getting better. Certain fields revere DOs because of expertise and prevalence in practice (i.e. PM&R, FP, holistic medicine, etc.), where it is seen as an asset. There are always Pros and Cons to everything.
 
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Dr. Josh

Of course there is a stigma.

DOs are MDs + OMM

Therefore, DOs are more thoroughly trained.

Funny, that's just what I said to the DO who asked me why I'd want to go the DO route. His comment back to me was "Oh they're still feeding you that crap?" So it seems to me that he feels he's been prejudiced against during his experience as a doctor, despite the fact that he is doing very well now.

And I've heard ignorant people outside the medical community may comments that DOs are into holist medicine or are like chiropractors. Comments like these actuually make me mad and I find myself constantly arguing in favor of DOs.
 

nalgie24

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The DO that wrote my LOR for the application process was really insightful when I asked him about his experience with any type of stigma. He went to AZCOM, did his ER residency in California and now practices in the Salt Lake area. He said in his travels and his experience, his degree has never been discussed in any type of interview or between any other physicians he has come in contact with. In his opinion, once you graduate from school, you are judged by you how effectively you diagnose and treat patients. The initials behind your name mean nothing. To reiterate what others have said, you can be anything you want to be as a DO. The only limiting factor is you.
 

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Funny, that's just what I said to the DO who asked me why I'd want to go the DO route. His comment back to me was "Oh they're still feeding you that crap?" So it seems to me that he feels he's been prejudiced against during his experience as a doctor, despite the fact that he is doing very well now.

And I've heard ignorant people outside the medical community may comments that DOs are into holist medicine or are like chiropractors. Comments like these actuually make me mad and I find myself constantly arguing in favor of DOs.

I think there may also be a regional factor (not just a generation factor) in terms of how DOs are perceived. When I first told my boss' wife that I was thinking of applying DO, she said, "Ahhh yea, you'll get more granola types (referring to patients), I had a DO on my IM rotation." She herself is an OB/GYN MD and went to school in Texas, but practices in CA in a small group private practice (where, sorry to say it, she gets sued at least twice a year...course that's CA AND OB/GYN for ya). I also remember hearing that DOs are more established on the east coast in terms of lay people knowing what's up.
 

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When I first told my boss' wife that I was thinking of applying DO, she said, "Ahhh yea, you'll get more granola types (referring to patients), I had a DO on my IM rotation."

The "granola types", aka ex-hippy, baby-boomers, are aging; they'll need sound medical care. I'm happy to fill the need. ;)
 

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Ahh...I am glad the world of respiratory therapists are so enlightened that they understand the osteopathic philosophy. Or did you just read Gevitz and click around on SDN...because that wont give you the whole story.
Actually I had lunch with a surgical faculty member at KCOM a couple of years back (his son is a physician I have worked with) and asked him his opinion. That and every other DO I've spoken with (except yourself and a couple of others on SDN) has expressed a similar opinion. I think the opinion of practicing DOs is a fair source of information, less biased than the AOA or SDN.
 
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clement

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The "granola types", aka ex-hippy, baby-boomers, are aging; they'll need sound medical care. I'm happy to fill the need. ;)

Yea, ironically enough geriatrics is the one speciality that hands-down I know I'd really enjoy. So yay for us!
 

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I have shadowed a DO and he does everything an MD does and more. he's well respected and yet he said to me "Why would you want to go the DO route?" :scared:



Ask 20 different physicians and you'll get 20 different opinions.


I've discussed my decision to become a DO with many physicians.

Three MDs all of whom I highly respect all said "GO FOR IT!" One even told me that if he had it to do over again, he'd go DO (for the OMM).

One DO I shadowed said there's no difference. He went DO b/c it was the first school that would take him. Another, older, DO said she's faced a bit of discrimination but loves her degree and would do it again. A third had faced no discrimination, said she enjoyed being a DO, and encouraged me to do it. All of these docs practice with MDs.

All the NPs I work with said go DO (DOs are "nicer" and "better listeners" – their opinions, not mine) and all the MDs I work with could care less.

As with pretty much anything else...you're medical education is going to be what you make of it. Maybe if people could stop worrying about what others might think of their degree and focus instead on deciding on which path is the best for them we'd have a lot fewer of these silly threads.
 

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Ask 20 different physicians and you'll get 20 different opinions.


I've discussed my decision to become a DO with many physicians.

Three MDs all of whom I highly respect all said "GO FOR IT!" One even told me that if he had it to do over again, he'd go DO (for the OMM).

One DO I shadowed said there's no difference. He went DO b/c it was the first school that would take him. Another, older, DO said she's faced a bit of discrimination but loves her degree and would do it again. A third had faced no discrimination, said she enjoyed being a DO, and encouraged me to do it. All of these docs practice with MDs.

All the NPs I work with said go DO (DOs are "nicer" and "better listeners" – their opinions, not mine) and all the MDs I work with could care less.

As with pretty much anything else...you're medical education is going to be what you make of it. Maybe if people could stop worrying about what others might think of their degree and focus instead on deciding on which path is the best for them we'd have a lot fewer of these silly threads.
Agreed....all of the docs I know (with a couple of ancient crackpots as exceptions but eh, they also openly badmouth black docs too) respect their DO colleagues.
 

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I'm sure that once we're all working we'll have respect from our colleagues (if we're nice and do an excellent job). But, one of the things you will have to deal with as a DO, is explaining to people you meet what a DO is. DO's suffer from poor visibility in most places (I'd never heard of the degree until last year, and I live in a state w/ 2 DO schools). This is not positive or negative, necessarily. I just gave a presentation about Osteopathy to my English class. Most people in the class learned about it for the first time. A lot were intrigued and asked me where they could find a DO. So, if you don't mind answering a few questions here and there, then you'll be fine.
 

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The DO that wrote my LOR for the application process was really insightful when I asked him about his experience with any type of stigma. He went to AZCOM, did his ER residency in California and now practices in the Salt Lake area. He said in his travels and his experience, his degree has never been discussed in any type of interview or between any other physicians he has come in contact with. In his opinion, once you graduate from school, you are judged by you how effectively you diagnose and treat patients. The initials behind your name mean nothing. To reiterate what others have said, you can be anything you want to be as a DO. The only limiting factor is you.

Only 3 posts, yet so wise. :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

Dr JPH

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Actually I had lunch with a surgical faculty member at KCOM a couple of years back (his son is a physician I have worked with) and asked him his opinion. That and every other DO I've spoken with (except yourself and a couple of others on SDN) has expressed a similar opinion. I think the opinion of practicing DOs is a fair source of information, less biased than the AOA or SDN.

Well, you had lunch with a few DOs. So you must be an expert. I had lunch today with a Nephrologist but I am pretty bad when it comes to renal physiology.
 

DropkickMurphy

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Well, you had lunch with a few DOs. So you must be an expert. I had lunch today with a Nephrologist but I am pretty bad when it comes to renal physiology.
I never claimed to be an expert about osteopathy. I'm just operating off of what I was told by multiple reliable sources who happen to have been part of the medical profession longer than either you or I. Several of them graduated from their programs before either of us was born.

Pardon me if the word of a DO professor at the first institution to offer the degree and several other practicing DOs carries a little more weight than the assertions of a MSIV. *shrugs*
 

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I never claimed to be an expert about osteopathy. I'm just operating off of what I was told by multiple reliable sources who happen to have been part of the medical profession longer than either you or I. Several of them graduated from their programs before either of us was born.

Pardon me if the word of a DO professor at the first institution to offer the degree and several other practicing DOs carries a little more weight than the assertions of a MSIV. *shrugs*

Perhaps something was lost in the translation. But you roam around SDN with comments and opinions like you are truly part of the equation. You arent. As a premed who may or may not someday go to medical school you are indeed entitled to your opinion, thats fine.

But you come off with these ideals and viewpoints that seem so strong and based on something...yet they are not. They are based on the opinion you get from talking to people who are DOs.

You make negative comments about the AOA and its leadership, yet you have never met any of them.

You make negative comments about osteopathic education, yet you have never been in one lecture.

You make negative comments about osteopathic residencies, yet you probably have never met any current residents.

You talk about how the history of osteopathic medicine and OMT are outdated and should be "optional", but you couldnt pick out an OMT treatment from a massage.

You say all of these things and they are based simply on your opinion which is derived from conversation from DOs. Thats fine, but how about you stick to what you know.

How about keeping your comments about DOs, OMT and osteopathic medicine to yourself, since they really are your opinions...and they are second hand opinions at that. A handful of people that you know certainly do not represent the bulk of the osteopathic profession. So the "word of a DO professor" and "several other practicing DOs" means crap to me. With the things you have said on here I dont trust one bit that your yammering is based on anything more than a ignorant view of a proud profession.

I may very well lose my mdoerator position for this, but I dont really care. Someone needs to say it.

Your one liners, snide remarks and supposed educated and insightful comments are getting old. No one wants to hear them. You have a small fan club that follows behind applauding when you "stand up to the DOs who get on their high horse". Other than that, no one cares. You have a "premed posse" that look at you as the one who plays devils advocate...as the sensible voice, yet they are just as clueless and ignorant about everything as you.

There is a difference between knowing DOs and training to become one. If you are half as annoying in person as you are on SDN, I would probably say what you wanted to hear just to get you away from me.

So, continue doing what you are doing and filling the role of Mr. anti-DO one-liner...the premed who thinks he knows more than he does, like we dont have enough of those...and people will keep looking at you as the enlightened one. Yet those of us who know better quickly see the truth. Your opinions have no basis, your comments have no value and your presence is like that of a dead cat on the sidewalk...you step over it as you pass by, but you cant help to feel a bit sorry at the same time.
 

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Good for you, JPHazelton. I hope this does not affect your mod status either. The way I see it, you are just helping to police this site. I have stopped reading and posting on SDN as much simply because posts like his are really making me sick. In fact, I thought about starting a thread about the topic. There are a few non-physician, questionable pre-meds on this site that really annoy me with their pompous know it all attitudes (usually condescending) that act like they are a member of the "club." Very irritating. I've even thought about asking for a secure website for med students and residents so we don't have to wade through this crap. As SDN has matured, I think it may actually have become too public.

I was a pre-med once. I was also another healthcare provider before medical school. I, however, realized my place in the world and did not post like I was a doctor (or even a med student) or like had any more credibility than I earned. I certainly never ran up thousands of posts of which a large part of which are inflammatory.

Good for you.

BTW, I sent a friendly PM to this poster a while ago telling him politely that another of his posts was inappropriate and overstepped his credentials. I guess that was ignored.
 

Sinnman

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To the OP, go to which ever school you like the best.

Is there still some discrimination? Yes. Of course there will be discrimination based on your race (minority or not), color, sex, and accent. There will be discrimination about your allopathic school as well. People will discriminate against you based on what residency you went to, whether you did a fellowship or not, what group you’re in, where your practice is, what your spouse is like....

I am obviously biased. I only applied to DO schools. There are many reasons why but I ultimately like the DO community better. I could have gone to an MD school. I had a very high MCAT (much higher than the average MD matriculant) and a 3.9 GPA. It wasn't a "back-up" for me. Am I glad I did? Yes. Are there still issues? Yes. I can tell you a lot of the stuff you read here is not true or is distorted.

I chose to apply to a competitive allopathic residency. I got many interviews at some of the best programs in the country (>90% of the places I applied to).

There will always be somebody, usually insecure, that will discriminate against you because you are a DO. The converse to that is that you will be part of a small and generally close knit community with some of the best people and docs around. You may be discriminated against because you’re a DO or you may get extra referrals or more opportunities because you’re a DO.

Do what feels best to you.
 

Jack Daniel

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I've even thought about asking for a secure website for med students and residents so we don't have to wade through this crap. As SDN has matured, I think it may actually have become too public.

You make a good point. However, a private forum does exist, reserved only for SDN donors. Unfortunately, it hasn't caught on yet--not much going on there.:sleep: It does have potential, though.
 

J1515

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Pardon me if the word of a DO professor at the first institution to offer the degree and several other practicing DOs carries a little more weight than the assertions of a MSIV. *shrugs*

Ahh, my favorite arguement of pre-meds. The good old "I've spoken to X number of doctors and they all told me _________."

A DO professor at my school and several of the DOs at our affiliated hospitals told me the exact opposite of what you "heard". So who to believe???????

To the OP - yes there is a stigma associated with DO, and that stigma exists on SDN. You will never gain the respect of all the pre-med kids on here as a DO, so make sure you choose your degree wisely.

If you're talking about the real world after school and residency, then no, it absolutely doesn't matter.
 
D

Dr. Josh

Perhaps something was lost in the translation. But you roam around SDN with comments and opinions like you are truly part of the equation. You arent. As a premed who may or may not someday go to medical school you are indeed entitled to your opinion, thats fine.

But you come off with these ideals and viewpoints that seem so strong and based on something...yet they are not. They are based on the opinion you get from talking to people who are DOs.

You make negative comments about the AOA and its leadership, yet you have never met any of them.

You make negative comments about osteopathic education, yet you have never been in one lecture.

You make negative comments about osteopathic residencies, yet you probably have never met any current residents.

You talk about how the history of osteopathic medicine and OMT are outdated and should be "optional", but you couldnt pick out an OMT treatment from a massage.

You say all of these things and they are based simply on your opinion which is derived from conversation from DOs. Thats fine, but how about you stick to what you know.

How about keeping your comments about DOs, OMT and osteopathic medicine to yourself, since they really are your opinions...and they are second hand opinions at that. A handful of people that you know certainly do not represent the bulk of the osteopathic profession. So the "word of a DO professor" and "several other practicing DOs" means crap to me. With the things you have said on here I dont trust one bit that your yammering is based on anything more than a ignorant view of a proud profession.

I may very well lose my mdoerator position for this, but I dont really care. Someone needs to say it.

Your one liners, snide remarks and supposed educated and insightful comments are getting old. No one wants to hear them. You have a small fan club that follows behind applauding when you "stand up to the DOs who get on their high horse". Other than that, no one cares. You have a "premed posse" that look at you as the one who plays devils advocate...as the sensible voice, yet they are just as clueless and ignorant about everything as you.

There is a difference between knowing DOs and training to become one. If you are half as annoying in person as you are on SDN, I would probably say what you wanted to hear just to get you away from me.

So, continue doing what you are doing and filling the role of Mr. anti-DO one-liner...the premed who thinks he knows more than he does, like we dont have enough of those...and people will keep looking at you as the enlightened one. Yet those of us who know better quickly see the truth. Your opinions have no basis, your comments have no value and your presence is like that of a dead cat on the sidewalk...you step over it as you pass by, but you cant help to feel a bit sorry at the same time.


:clap: :clap: :clap: If you are a moderator why don't you ban him or put him on probation?
 

Kappy1

Bleach and Glass Cleaner
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Feb 28, 2007
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In my Imagination
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The way that I see it is that many lay people don't understand that a DO is a physician that is equal to an MD. In my circles, they think DO's are like an OT, PT, or Chiropracter which is certainly not the case. What are DO Schools and the DO community doing to try to clear this up? I belive that if there was a doctor in one of the doctor TV shows (er, house, scrubs, General Hospital ect...) with the DO title. People would get a clearer picture.
Within the medical community itself DO's are definetly recognized more. More work still needs to be done. My father as an allopathic physician trains residents from both schools (DO and MD) and he finds that both are equally trained with regard to their medical education. He also reffers paitients to both MD's and DO's. For him it comes down to who ever the is best clinitian, not the two letters at the end of your name. With reguard to Medical School ranking there is the same trend. I belive that according to the US news and world report (may not use scientific methods to rank schools) has three DO schools within the top 50 Medical Schools in the country with reguard to primary care!!!!
 
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