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MD/DO Degree Merger. Sooner than you think?

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Hi All,

I just wanted to start a discussion on the possibility of an MD/DO degree merger in the near future because I heard a couple people high up in academia say that they will merge the degrees in the next few years. One of them pointed me to a court case in 1982 (Dr. John Maceluch, et al., Plaintiffs-appellants, v. Dr. Charley E. Wysong, President of the Composite Stateboard of Medicalexaminers of Texas, et al.,defendants-appellees, 680 F.2d 1062 (5th Cir. 1982)) where some DOs argued that they should be able to use the MD letters on their advertisements and stationary. They lost, obviously, but if they made the same case today, I think they would win.

It would only take one state to rule in favor of a DO/MD merge. That would cause a cascade, and ultimately, a complete merge. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-DO. In fact, I'm grateful that I was given the chance to become a doctor but I think the similarities—the residency merger, MDs learning OMM, and MD schools teaching holistic approaches to healthcare—make it extremely difficult for the AOA to argue that we're different.

Many people think there's too much money and powerful people behind the AOA but they're not immune to lawsuits (they recently lost one for tying membership to board certification), and they can't resist the medical mainstream forever.

I don't really care one way or the other (although I'm in favor of simplification) but a degree merger seems imminent given the circumstances.
 
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eberge3

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There will be no degree merger. There simply is no need for one. It has no impact on patient care and very few doctors actually care about the difference in those letters.
 
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CoomassieBlue57

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No. And the DO leadership say no too. This isn't even debatable at the moment. And no, they are not removing COMLEX either.
 
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madiso30

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Yea I really don't know what the point would be. I wouldn't mind an exam merger so I don't have to take 2 in 2 years....
 

CuriousGeorgeTA19

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It's entirely possible. From the AACOM website by Dr. Gevitz:

Furthermore, as argued in this author’s April and May 2014 papers, the vast majority of DO students/graduates who match into exclusively ACGME programs will likely pursue American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification rather than AOA Board certification. Soon AOA specialty boards will all but entirely serve the function of re-certifying established specialists. Osteopathic specialty colleges will eventually cease to exist. The great majority of future ACGME-trained DOs will not identify with or join the AOA or state societies.

Finally, sooner rather than later, osteopathic medical schools will likely be forced into joining with and being accredited by the Liaison Commission for Medical Education (LCME). The logic is inescapable. By agreeing to the proposition that one accreditation system with one common standard on the graduate medical education level through ACGME is in “the public interest,” the osteopathic profession will likely be unable to offer a rational and compelling reason why one accreditation system with one common standard accrediting all US medical schools (allopathic and osteopathic) is not in “the public interest” on the undergraduate level. This is particularly the case when the LCME is composed of the same partners—AMA and AAMC—on the graduate medical education level. And given that tuition-dependent medical schools with comparatively few full time faculty members cannot meet current LCME standards, DO schools will close or lose their osteopathic identity.

If LCME takes everything over, the degrees will/should merge.
 

Goro

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Hi All,

I just wanted to start a discussion on the possibility of an MD/DO degree merger in the near future because I heard a couple people high up in academia say that they will merge the degrees in the next few years. One of them pointed me to a court case in 1982 (Dr. John Maceluch, et al., Plaintiffs-appellants, v. Dr. Charley E. Wysong, President of the Composite Stateboard of Medicalexaminers of Texas, et al.,defendants-appellees, 680 F.2d 1062 (5th Cir. 1982)) where some DOs argued that they should be able to use the MD letters on their advertisements and stationary. They lost, obviously, but if they made the same case today, I think they would win.

It would only take one state to rule in favor of a DO/MD merge. That would cause a cascade, and ultimately, a complete merge. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-DO. In fact, I'm grateful that I was given the chance to become a doctor but I think the similarities—the residency merger, MDs learning OMM, and MD schools teaching holistic approaches to healthcare—make it extremely difficult for the AOA to argue that we're different.

Many people think there's too much money and powerful people behind the AOA but they're not immune to lawsuits (they recently lost one for tying membership to board certification), and they can't resist the medical mainstream forever.

I don't really care one way or the other (although I'm in favor of simplification) but a degree merger seems imminent given the circumstances.
Public service announcement:
Don't hold your breath until the current generation of AOA leadership is dead buried.

Really, just stop.

And why would LCME want ot take over the accreditation of DO schools?????
If LCME takes everything over, the degrees will/should merge.
 
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UnoMas

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If you don't want to have DO after your name don't go to a DO school. Simple solution. This kinda of **** thread keeps popping up every few months or so in the DO, Pre-DO forums.

What simplification?

Don't be like the midlevel, trying to vote your way into something that you aren't.
 
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Feelgood MD

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Public service announcement:
Don't hold your breath until the current generation of AOA leadership is dead buried.

Really, just stop.

And why would LCME want ot take over the accreditation of DO schools?????
If LCME takes everything over, the degrees will/should merge.


Not my thoughts, but I actually found a proposal that answers that very question:

"Osteopathic medical graduates are now increasingly being perceived by our ACGME partners as effective competitors to US allopathic school graduates in getting GME positions. There is no question that LCME-accredited medical schools want to ensure that all their graduates get GME slots going forward. Increasingly, they are realizing that the one way they can effectively do that is to have influence upon the number of osteopathic schools and their graduates. And the only way to accomplish this is through a merger of the COCA and LCME accrediting processes into an expanded LCME. This ACGME merger opens the door for them to accomplish just that."

Thats from Norman Gevitz, Phd in his Unintended Consequences of ACGME Merger paper


:corny:
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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You can find the answer to any question involving a potential MD/DO merger (including test taking & everything else) by following the $$$$$$$$$

If the AOA or NBOME or anybody like that is losing $$$$$$$ it is not going to happen my friend.

Plus I mean ya, nobody cares anyways.
 
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Sardonix

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Honestly surprised no one has brought this up yet, so before this discussion REALLY devolves, here's some food for everyone's thoughts:


AOA STAFF: "In the near future, candidates will be given the choice of two initial certification options: To become board certified in the osteopathic practice of their specialty or to become board certified in their specialty only, taking an exam that embraces osteopathic medicine’s unique holistic thinking but doesn’t require expert-level skills in the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine.
...
Demand for certification options has grown, and the potential diplomate pool for initial and ongoing continuous certification is larger due to the single GME accreditation system. Offering two paths to certification is an opportunity to reach a broader market of DOs and to provide a certification choice for MDs as well, especially those trained in osteopathically recognized programs, Dr. Mayo said."

AKA

"We are very scared by the number of doctors (and their money) jumping ship for the ABMS. So we are now adapting."
 
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CLE216

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I personally think if you go to an MD school, you should get an MD. If you go to a DO school, I think they should grant a "MD-DO" degree indicating that we learn the same stuff as MDs but also have the additional DO OMM stuff. Is it really necessary? Probably not.
 

Ho0v-man

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I hate my school, the AOA, and COCA. But you ain’t takin my DO degree away from me. I worked too damn hard for it.
 
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Solodyn

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Honestly surprised no one has brought this up yet, so before this discussion REALLY devolves

I did bring it up, except no one cared...


I believe the MD DO merger will take place within 10 years. Everyone's saying that "old guards" will not allow that to happen. But the "old guards" are already gone. Any DO who is younger than 55 are the same crowd who advocate for the MDO at SDN 20 years ago. This age group probably makes up up to 75% of DOs. AOA with its shrinking membership will not be able to stop the merger if LCME proposes it..

During the ACGME-AOA Merger, the AOA president at the time travel to all the major state societies and address the Boards of Trustees on why the merger is good for the profession. That is not what an AT Still disciple would do. There is no hard core loyalists left in the AOA; they already retired.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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I hate my school, the AOA, and COCA. But you ain’t takin my DO degree away from me. I worked too damn hard for it.
Same, but I haven't gotten to the point of hating my school yet. I actually love it here, admin actually listen to students and makes good changes. Hopefully that doesn't change in the future.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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I did bring it up, except no one cared...


I believe the MD DO merger will take place within 10 years. Everyone's saying that "old guards" will not allow that to happen. But the "old guards" are already gone. Any DO who is younger than 55 are the same crowd who advocate for the MDO at SDN 20 years ago. This age group probably makes up up to 75% of DOs. AOA with its shrinking membership will not be able to stop the merger if LCME proposes it..

During the ACGME-AOA Merger, the AOA president at the time travel to all the major state societies and address the Boards of Trustees on why the merger is good for the profession. That is not what an AT Still disciple would do. There is no hard core loyalists left in the AOA; they already retired.
But the AOA is part of the ACGME voting board now. They still have some power. I don't think MD and DO will merge. LCME doesn't care and doesn't want anything to do with DO schools.
 
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Neopolymath

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Honestly surprised no one has brought this up yet, so before this discussion REALLY devolves, here's some food for everyone's thoughts:


AOA STAFF: "In the near future, candidates will be given the choice of two initial certification options: To become board certified in the osteopathic practice of their specialty or to become board certified in their specialty only, taking an exam that embraces osteopathic medicine’s unique holistic thinking but doesn’t require expert-level skills in the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine.
...
Demand for certification options has grown, and the potential diplomate pool for initial and ongoing continuous certification is larger due to the single GME accreditation system. Offering two paths to certification is an opportunity to reach a broader market of DOs and to provide a certification choice for MDs as well, especially those trained in osteopathically recognized programs, Dr. Mayo said."

AKA

"We are very scared by the number of doctors (and their money) jumping ship for the ABMS. So we are now adapting."
We have discussed this a couple times. AOA is breathing its last useless breaths.
 
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DO2015CA

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Same, but I haven't gotten to the point of hating my school yet. I actually love it here, admin actually listen to students and make good changes. Hopefully that doesn't change in the future.

Did you just finish up 1st year?
 
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Neopolymath

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Same, but I haven't gotten to the point of hating my school yet. I actually love it here, admin actually listen to students and make good changes. Hopefully that doesn't change in the future.
I thought we went to the same school. Clearly we don't.
 
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Sardonix

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I did bring it up, except no one cared...


I believe the MD DO merger will take place within 10 years. Everyone's saying that "old guards" will not allow that to happen. But the "old guards" are already gone. Any DO who is younger than 55 are the same crowd who advocate for the MDO at SDN 20 years ago. This age group probably makes up up to 75% of DOs. AOA with its shrinking membership will not be able to stop the merger if LCME proposes it..

During the ACGME-AOA Merger, the AOA president at the time travel to all the major state societies and address the Boards of Trustees on why the merger is good for the profession. That is not what an AT Still disciple would do. There is no hard core loyalists left in the AOA; they already retired.

I like the cut of your jib.
 
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Jyggaswoop

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these threads should be shut down immediately as they start by the mods.
 
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DrStephenStrange

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Did you just finish up 1st year?
Yes, so maybe I'm still a naive OMS1 lol.
I thought we went to the same school. Clearly we don't.
IDK, I doubt it, but if we do then you must be a second year then because they sure hate Admin. But I heard good changes are coming for next year after the last HLC meeting. So I remain hopeful as long they don't cut out on our 2 month dedicated board prep time.
he might be on one of the other earths
Haha, funny dude.
 

DrRedstone

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From a practical standpoint, I'd enjoy being able to say MD so I can do more overseas work in the future (assuming the AOA hasn't done a better job of advocating for DO equivalence to MD in more countries by then).
 
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DrStephenStrange

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From a practical standpoint, I'd enjoy being able to say MD so I can do more overseas work in the future (assuming the AOA hasn't done a better job of advocating for DO equivalence to MD in more countries by then).
DOs are recognized in more countries than you might think. Plus, if you are associated with an international organization like Doctors without borders or something, countries won't care if you're MD or DO as long you can do your job.
 
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DO2015CA

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Yes, so maybe I'm still a naive OMS1 lol.IDK, I doubt it, but if we do then you must be a second year then because they sure hate Admin. But I heard good changes are coming for next year after the last HLC meeting. So I remain hopeful as long they don't cut out on our 2 month dedicated board prep time.Haha, funny dude.


Ya it’s pretty much 2nd year when it all goes to hell. I liked my school until then. You start to see through their bs more and more. Plus once they start actively sabotaging your board studying then you get really ticked off
 
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UnoMas

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From a practical standpoint, I'd enjoy being able to say MD so I can do more overseas work in the future (assuming the AOA hasn't done a better job of advocating for DO equivalence to MD in more countries by then).
This is like the 1000 years old SDN myth haha classic
Unfortunately for you, DO is only allowed to do OMM in Zimbabwe
 

Jyggaswoop

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cartoon avatar, as legendary as this topic is, there is still benefit to having contemporary discussions.
instead of these random threads every time why don't they just have one pinned threat about the topic...oh yeah because it is not as relevant as people make it out to be
 

olabrador23

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Hi All,

I just wanted to start a discussion on the possibility of an MD/DO degree merger in the near future because I heard a couple people high up in academia say that they will merge the degrees in the next few years. One of them pointed me to a court case in 1982 (Dr. John Maceluch, et al., Plaintiffs-appellants, v. Dr. Charley E. Wysong, President of the Composite Stateboard of Medicalexaminers of Texas, et al.,defendants-appellees, 680 F.2d 1062 (5th Cir. 1982)) where some DOs argued that they should be able to use the MD letters on their advertisements and stationary. They lost, obviously, but if they made the same case today, I think they would win.

It would only take one state to rule in favor of a DO/MD merge. That would cause a cascade, and ultimately, a complete merge. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-DO. In fact, I'm grateful that I was given the chance to become a doctor but I think the similarities—the residency merger, MDs learning OMM, and MD schools teaching holistic approaches to healthcare—make it extremely difficult for the AOA to argue that we're different.

Many people think there's too much money and powerful people behind the AOA but they're not immune to lawsuits (they recently lost one for tying membership to board certification), and they can't resist the medical mainstream forever.

I don't really care one way or the other (although I'm in favor of simplification) but a degree merger seems imminent given the circumstances.

is it easier to open new DO schools or MD schools???
 
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FourniersGreenGang

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Yes, so maybe I'm still a naive OMS1 lol.IDK, I doubt it, but if we do then you must be a second year then because they sure hate Admin. But I heard good changes are coming for next year after the last HLC meeting. So I remain hopeful as long they don't cut out on our 2 month dedicated board prep time.Haha, funny dude.
Yeah I feel like the further you go the worse it gets. There must be a component of the age old equation: debt accrued ^2 + idgafijustwanttobedone = tolerance of BS, at play. As you can see as both values on the left increase, debt in particular, the schools feel that they can pile more on. This is why tuition is so high, one must balance the equation.
 
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shadowlightfox

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Even if the merger happened, I would not take up on that offer. Doing so would be a sign of inferiority complex, and you should focus more on improving yourself as a physician over what the initials are past your name anyway.
 
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DNC127

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Even if the merger happened, I would not take up on that offer. Doing so would be a sign of inferiority complex, and you should focus more on improving yourself as a physician over what the initials are past your name anyway.

I am the opposite. I would pay to take them up on the offer. srry not srry lol
 
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Chibucks15

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I feel like if it happens when I'm already past where it would help me (i.e. residency applications) then they could do whatever I wouldn't really care haha not like it makes a damn bit of difference once you get out into the real world
 
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DrMcLovin

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I feel like if it happens when I'm already past where it would help me (i.e. residency applications) then they could do whatever I wouldn't really care haha not like it makes a damn bit of difference once you get out into the real world

This is true. I’m past the residency application stage and could care less if DO/MD degrees merged and certainly wouldnt pay for it
 
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DO2015CA

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Even if the merger happened, I would not take up on that offer. Doing so would be a sign of inferiority complex, and you should focus more on improving yourself as a physician over what the initials are past your name anyway.
I am the opposite. I would pay to take them up on the offer. srry not srry lol
This is true. I’m past the residency application stage and could care less if DO/MD degrees merged and certainly wouldnt pay for it

I’m in the idgaf category. Already past residency applications. If the profession wants to change then yolo whatever. But I’m not paying for it. I’ll stay DO
 
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Cheeni17

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Doesn’t matter once residency over really I mean I’d love comlex to merge to usmle to save med students money but not gonna happen. We all know nbome and aoa are a bunch of clowns but once u doctor u doctor and dgaf any more
 

Solodyn

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It is very true once residency is over MD vs DO means very little. I wouldn't be able to convince my "second year in med school" self such; I know now the degree virtually has no impact on my current life. In fact, if I was not a DO, I would not enjoy the professional career I have today. I owe it to the osteopathic profession.

It doesn't take away from the point that the MD-DO merger will likely to be sooner than we think. AOA gave away their raison d'etre when they agreed to the ACGME merger and unbelievably... facilitated it. Then comes the decoupling of AOA Board certification from membership, which will cut the membership number and income by at least 50%. In addition, there is no more staunch osteopathic defender (old guard) left within the AOA leadership anymore. The current AOA leaders are of my age group (matriculated 1990-1999) and there is no "osteopathy or bust" mentality in 95% of my classmates. I doubt the AOA leaders are going to fight tooth and nails to preserve absolute osteopathy or even the DO degree. I think they are much more pragmatic than even 10 years ago.

Just look at the fact that AOA now is modifying the board exams to remove the OMM component and marketing the AOA Board Certification to the MDs; it shows what kind the trouble the profession is in. AOA is fighting for its survival and is abandoning its identity trying to do so. This is not unique to the AOA. The Specialty Societies (ACOFP, ACOI, ACOEM, etc) are all losing control of the residency programs and membership. State Societies.. large ones, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Florida, etc are facing the same challenges of keeping its members and attendance for their meetings. Category 1A CME is no longer needed for Board certification maintenance... where will the membership and meeting income come from for all these osteopathic organizations and affiliates?

Finally, contrary to what many SDNers think, there is no "hunger for power" or "greed" involved in the AOA Board of Trustee or leadership. Many of the leaders like the prestige and it is no different why we have kids in high school running for student council. The process goes like this : An AOA Board of Trustee climbs the ladder of chained officers, spends a year of volunteered time on top of their regular clinical practice, puts out fires within the organization, makes some press releases, gives some speeches in your local friendly medical schools, get a gavel souvenir at the end, then he leaves. By then he is tired. It is a year-long obligation and he most likely won't stick around to exert additional imaginary power to the new leaders who don't want him there anymore. There is not much long term organizational memory and 3-5 year strategic planning is hard to carry out since all the leaders are busy bickering amongst themselves. Only the AOA bureaucrats are the ones providing the continuity; they are not much for osteopathic loyalty either. Therefore I don't really see AOA going on for much longer than 10-15 years. I think Norman Gevitz is going to be correct in his predictions in the end.
 
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olabrador23

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DO schools. Too easy, in fact. No requirement for pesky research facilities or good clinical training.

yes, could not imagine DO schools wanting to merge DO with MD for this reason... are they not going to oppose the merger?

thank you for being candid Goro! :thumbup::thumbup:
 
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Cheeni17

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It is very true once residency is over MD vs DO means very little. I wouldn't be able to convince my "second year in med school" self such; I know now the degree virtually has no impact on my current life. In fact, if I was not a DO, I would not enjoy the professional career I have today. I owe it to the osteopathic profession.

It doesn't take away from the point that the MD-DO merger will likely to be sooner than we think. AOA gave away their raison d'etre when they agreed to the ACGME merger and unbelievably... facilitated it. Then comes the decoupling of AOA Board certification from membership, which will cut the membership number and income by at least 50%. In addition, there is no more staunch osteopathic defender (old guard) left within the AOA leadership anymore. The current AOA leaders are of my age group (matriculated 1990-1999) and there is no "osteopathy or bust" mentality in 95% of my classmates. I doubt the AOA leaders are going to fight tooth and nails to preserve absolute osteopathy or even the DO degree. I think they are much more pragmatic than even 10 years ago.

Just look at the fact that AOA now is modifying the board exams to remove the OMM component and marketing the AOA Board Certification to the MDs; it shows what kind the trouble the profession is in. AOA is fighting for its survival and is abandoning its identity trying to do so. This is not unique to the AOA. The Specialty Societies (ACOFP, ACOI, ACOEM, etc) are all losing control of the residency programs and membership. State Societies.. large ones, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Florida, etc are facing the same challenges of keeping its members and attendance for their meetings. Category 1A CME is no longer needed for Board certification maintenance... where will the membership and meeting income come from for all these osteopathic organizations and affiliates?

Finally, contrary to what many SDNers think, there is no "hunger for power" or "greed" involved in the AOA Board of Trustee or leadership. Many of the leaders like the prestige and it is no different why we have kids in high school running for student council. The process goes like this : An AOA Board of Trustee climbs the ladder of chained officers, spends a year of volunteered time on top of their regular clinical practice, puts out fires within the organization, makes some press releases, gives some speeches in your local friendly medical schools, get a gavel souvenir at the end, then he leaves. By then he is tired. It is a year-long obligation and he most likely won't stick around to exert additional imaginary power to the new leaders who don't want him there anymore. There is not much long term organizational memory and 3-5 year strategic planning is hard to carry out since all the leaders are busy bickering amongst themselves. Only the AOA bureaucrats are the ones providing the continuity; they are not much for osteopathic loyalty either. Therefore I don't really see AOA going on for much longer than 10-15 years. I think Norman Gevitz is going to be correct in his predictions in the end.

They gotta stop sending out those AOA cert letters in the mail
 

anthony78001

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the aoa makes too much money for their comlex tests and the old DOs actually believe there is a difference that they are proud of
 
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Isoval

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Always an interesting discussion, but it appears we always arrive at the same answer.

Eventually it's going to happen in some form or fashion. Whether that's next year or next century, who knows. Probably the latter.
 

hallowmann

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Always an interesting discussion, but it appears we always arrive at the same answer.

Eventually it's going to happen in some form or fashion. Whether that's next year or next century, who knows. Probably the latter.

This same discussion has literally happened for over a century with pretty much the same outcome.
 
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Cryc_to_the_point

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I think 90% of us would settle for USMLE being the common licensing exam.
 
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