OnMyWayThere

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Here is an article that shows the mindset of some people who don't know what osteopathic physicians are...

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/health/20051108-9999-lz1c08altern.html

No matter if it's choosing between bottled or tap, 39 flavors of ice cream or more than 50 different shades of beige paint for your walls, Americans like to have options.

But when it comes to healthcare, many people opt for plain vanilla medicine.

"I don't care about any of those other (practitioners). When I'm sick or hurt, I want to see a real doctor. I want an M.D.," says 58-year-old Susan Cooper of San Diego, as she recently waited to see her primary care physician at Scripps Clinic.

She admitted, however, that she "has no idea" what an osteopathic physician is; didn't know that a podiatrist has to have four years of podiatric medical school; and thought that a nurse practitioner is just an R.N. with a fancy title. While an increasing number of insurers expand medical coverage to include alternative practitioners, a lot of people are sticking with their conventional medical doctor – often out of loyalty and conviction, but sometimes out of confusion.


"Of course people are confused and skeptical, and often misinformed. It's completely understandable. It's the unknown. We grew up with an M.D. being the family doctor and there's a basic lack of understanding of (alternative practitioners') skills and what they have to offer the patient," says Joseph Pizzorno, a Washington state naturopathic physician who co-authored "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine."

"Patients are going to have to be much smarter consumers and educate themselves on the strengths and weaknesses of the care available before they can determine what's best for them," says Pizzorno, who was appointed to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy by President Clinton in 2000.

Although some medical doctors admit that their philosophy and science is different from alternative practitioners', they're often open-minded and say there's room for all kinds of healthcare.

"Even though I don't really understand things like acupuncture and chiropractic, it's good that there are (practitioners) reaching out to offer other options to people," says Dr. William Norcross, medical professor and chief of family medicine at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

"I think it's a very good thing that we have these options. The reason we have more options is because conventional medicine has not answered every question and does not have treatments for every condition," he continued. "We owe it to people to educate them about the kinds of options they have and the scope of practice among various disciplines."

More patient choices means more consumer responsibilities, says Dr. David Leopold, who, in addition to being a medical doctor and director of integrative medical information at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, is also a certified acupuncturist with certification in osteopathic manipulation.

The onus is on the consumer to identify the healthcare practitioners they see, he says, and recommends checking out practitioners' training, board certifications, and other accreditations before an appointment.

"The most important thing a patient can do today is become informed," Leopold says. "An uninformed patient is vulnerable. An informed patient is empowered."
 

Pharos

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This should statistically continue to change with time - because although the current working physician poplulation is comprised of only ~6% DOs, the current med school graduates consist of ~15% DOs. As they "hit" the workforce and become more prevalent, their recognition with the general poplulation will increase as well.
 

LooKing4Ward

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I am quite interested to see when and if DO's make a greater percentage of docs and med students. Will the increase in DO's make doctor's salaries go down? Will DO take away some of the MD competitiveness?
 

DORoe

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LooKing4Ward said:
I am quite interested to see when and if DO's make a greater percentage of docs and med students. Will the increase in DO's make doctor's salaries go down? Will DO take away some of the MD competitiveness?
why would it?
 

realmdo

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[ Will the increase in DO's make doctor's salaries go down?

as long as we have same or more debt as MD, this should not be allowed to happen.
 

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realmdo said:
[ Will the increase in DO's make doctor's salaries go down?

as long as we have same or more debt as MD, this should not be allowed to happen.
From this comment, it appears that you are erroneously implying that there are salary differences between DO's & MD's.

Since you are hired for the same position (a physician), the pay is standardized to any physician. The degree is irrelevant.
 

Shodddy18

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OSUdoc08 said:
From this comment, it appears that you are erroneously implying that there are salary differences between DO's & MD's.

Since you are hired for the same position (a physician), the pay is standardized to any physician. The degree is irrelevant.

I think he was talking about supply and demand...
 

OSUdoc08

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Shodddy18 said:
I think he was talking about supply and demand...
There is no disparity in demand between DO's & MD's for this same reason.


(On a side note, there has always been a shortage of physicians in rural areas, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.)
 

Shodddy18

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OSUdoc08 said:
There is no disparity in demand between DO's & MD's for this same reason.


(On a side note, there has always been a shortage of physicians in rural areas, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.)
I didnt mean to imply that their was a greater demand for either DOs or MDs. I just thought he meant that an increase in the number of graduating physicians means a slightly lower patient/physician ratio.

I dont however believe this is true. an increase in the number of physicians will not effect our income.
 

Thousandth

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Shodddy18 said:
I didnt mean to imply that their was a greater demand for either DOs or MDs. I just thought he meant that an increase in the number of graduating physicians means a slightly lower patient/physician ratio.

I dont however believe this is true. an increase in the number of physicians will not effect our income.
This is supported by the fact that MD schools are increasing there enrollment by 15% over the next several years (think 5-10 but cant remember).

On another point. I have to say that the publics lack of knowledge is shown to it's greatest when DO's are lumped into "Complementary Alternative Medicine" or CAM. We are not CAM. We simply provide another mode of treatment IN ADDITION to "traditional western medicine". There are those who say that the true disticntion is that we "Treat Patients not just Symptoms" (including the AOA). However this is a bunch of bull. We do this but so do MD's. Patients are demanding it more and more. Most medical schools nowadays teaches from this point of view, be it MD or DO.

Ok off my soapbox.
 

jonb12997

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Thousandth said:
There are those who say that the true disticntion is that we "Treat Patients not just Symptoms" (including the AOA). However this is a bunch of bull. We do this but so do MD's. Patients are demanding it more and more. Most medical schools nowadays teaches from this point of view, be it MD or DO.
Here's my piece, i'll say up front I agree with thousandth... MD and DOs both "treat the patient not the just symptoms". the problem comes that when someone asks us (say as interview tour guides) what the difference is, we really don't have much besides this to say. Sure we have the whole, we're MDs, plus OMM, but most people need something more than that. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that we're getting to be so much like MDs that other than the OMM thing, we really don't have that much difference from them. any thoughts? ok, enough procrastinating, time to get back to these blasted diseases. :eek:
 

(nicedream)

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jonb12997 said:
Here's my piece, i'll say up front I agree with thousandth... MD and DOs both "treat the patient not the just symptoms". the problem comes that when someone asks us (say as interview tour guides) what the difference is, we really don't have much besides this to say. Sure we have the whole, we're MDs, plus OMM, but most people need something more than that. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that we're getting to be so much like MDs that other than the OMM thing, we really don't have that much difference from them. any thoughts? ok, enough procrastinating, time to get back to these blasted diseases. :eek:
You're right. Which is why my answer is "there is no difference." It's the most honest answer.
 

Pharos

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I believe the whole "Treating People, Not Just Symptoms" or any other version of this gig is a historical motto that has held over from times when allopaths were still disease-focused, and therefore, osteopaths were unique in this aspect. It has obviously gone by the way side, as both allopaths and osteopaths now take a patient-centered approach - but you still see the motto in use. I think it has been left as more of a "this is where we came from" aspect. I wouldn't say that this is a distinction that should be used anymore.