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Should AOA step up its PR?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by groundhog, May 18, 2001.

  1. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    I was talking with a bright undergrad yesterday. He was relating his desire to go to medical school. He mentioned a few schools (all allopathic) and I advised him to not overlook the osteopathic schools. He gave me an odd look and said "I do not want to be a chiropractor." He was totally surprized when I explained to him that DO's and MD's are equivalent in all aspects of their eligibility and competentcy to practice medicine. His response made me think that perhaps the AOA needs to make more effort in explaining the credentials of a licensed DO to the general public. What do you folks think?
     
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  3. Pilot

    Pilot Senior Member
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    Just show him the AOA pamphlet explaining what a DO is. You know the one I'm talking about - the cover has a "physician" wearing a stethoscope with no earpiece.

    I say the AOA does such a poor job, increasing their efforts at public education will only hurt. :(
     
  4. j8463dp

    j8463dp Member
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    As future or current DO's it is our duty to educate the public about the DO Philosophy. I also agree that the AOA should be respectable and should back us up.
     
  5. Brennan

    Brennan Senior Member
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    To tell you the truth, when i looked into schools, the Osteopathic profession was not very well represented.....luckily my state..wild and wonderful west virginia had an osteopathic school. It is hard for us to compete with the MD schools in campaigning considering they out number us almost 6 to one. But i think with students who care enough to go on crusades and educate the people we are going to catch up to them real soon...I am personally going to do my damnest to share our concepts with people, and show them that not only are we equal to MD's but superior in many ways. :)
     
  6. KCOM2005

    KCOM2005 Senior Member
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    The public has a very poor understanding of osteopathic medicine. The funny thing is those who do know something about it love it! I was extremely fortunate to find out about it. I literally ripped up my secondary applications to allopathic schools after I got an in depth look at osteopathic medicine.

    Osteopathic medicine fills in the gaps in traditional western medicine that I thought were missing. In my veiw point, the majority of people are very accepting and those who are not are typically old rigid people with narrow viewpoints (they are dying off).

    The AOA does an extremely poor job with PR. Besides the general public, it is almost scandalous that such a high percentage of undergrad premed students have no concept of osteopathic medicine.
     
  7. Hippocrates

    Hippocrates Member
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    I think the key to spreading the word about DOs is to inform those undergraduate pre-med students about osteopathic medicine. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland in College Park, no body NO ONE informed me that Osteopathic medicine even existed! Fortunately, the current pre-med advisor is now making frequent trips to PCOM. She is also actively informing students about the profession and seems very excited about it. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the ways things turned out with me. I now have a masters degree bla bla bla, but if only I knew about it 3 years ago!! I just love learning and there is alot to learn but too little time!!! :rolleyes:
     
  8. acaban

    acaban Senior Member
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    I strongly agree with Hippocrates. I went to the University of Miami and we had one if not any visits from our only osteopathic school in the state (NSUCOM). Many pre-med students were not aware of the osteopathic profession and were only applying to the miami allopathic medical school. The AOA should make a more robust attempt at educating from the ground up any undergraduates interested in pursuing a medical profession especially information about an osteopathic medical carrer. My 0.02 cents! AJC :D
     
  9. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member
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    Hipprocrates and acaban make a good point. Maybe faculty from the osteo schools should go to undergrad universities to educate and inform students about osteopathy. Its worth a shot and it definitely wouldn't hurt.
     
  10. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    KCOM admissions staff makes an average 128 campus visits a year! Of course, they tend to visit the campuses of schools and in states that they historically receive lots of apps and students.

    A huge detriment to educating the public about osteopathy is the gross ineptness of the AOA.

    The KCOM chapter of SOMA has generated a student-made/professionally produced (KCOM media services) osteopathic promotion/education video that is available on CD-Rom. If you're interested in obtaining a copy, e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

    Please be aware that these guys are off on either break of preceptorships...so, they may take a short wile to reply. Also, I can not tell you a price...although I do know they are selling the CDs at essentially the cost of production.
     
  11. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    OldManDave is absolutely right about KCOM.... It was actually the only school that attend UCDavis' (California) that was from the midwest. KCOM distributed tons of CDROMS, fliers, did a ppt presentation, the works, I wish other schools would do this, but I'm sure $$$ is always an issue.... Does AOA provide funds for osteopathic universities to do outreach programs? Just wonderin'
     
  12. Brennan

    Brennan Senior Member
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    Here's something to Think About :confused:
    Is it possible that there PR is right in a way?.... Think about it! Most of us had to seek out the osteopathic profession.....and we did so b/c we were not satisfied with the choices we had. And once we did find it...didn't we (hopefully most of us)fall in love with their ideology, approaches to, and practice of medicine.
    So should we think about keeping the old methods of advertising: some journal ads with a lot of pamphlets being given by the DO's and students themselves through a "hands on approach". Or should we modify it or completly change it?
    Hmmmmmm?
    Wha
     
  13. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Brennan, please expalin further...maybe I'm a bit thick; but I am not following your logic: improving awareness by enhanced obscurity?

    :confused:
     
  14. bowsplash

    bowsplash Junior Member
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    I wonder if any osteopathic schools have outreach programs to local high schools and colleges. As a future AZCOM student, I'd welcome the opportunity to host occasional pre-med groups to discuss medicine, how to apply, and to let them know that osteopathy's a viable alternative to the traditional MD route. I'm sure many of us were thinking about medicine before college. If a couple of students at each DO school did this with local high schools, it would go a long way--many of those students might go to college out of state and spread the word about DO.

    Thoughts?
     
  15. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    Why? The Unity Campaign's worked SO WELL. :rolleyes:

    On a more serious note, while much of the blame may be put on the AOA, a lot of it comes from DOs themselves. Among the osteopathic students on this thread, how many of you can honestly say that you'd be able to explain to a lay person, to a DO colleague, an MD colleague, or to a college professor what the difference between an MD and a DO is WITHOUT all the hand-waving about "treating people not symptoms?" Not very many of you, I'd imagine.

    The inherent problem with the profession is that it attempts to change in the minds of many Americans the misconception that there are two types of doctors in the country. Read the AOA pamphlets. Listen to what other DOs say about their profession.

    When I was an undergrad, I received a pamphlet from the AOA reading (from memory, of course), "You've been going to a physician your whole life, but you may not have realized that your physician could've been a DO. There are two types of complete physicians in the United States. [HAND-WAVING] See? So next time, remember that there are DOs out there because we need their membership dues and if you don't see them they won't pay us to carry out these ridiculous publicity campaigns."

    Most people get lost in the hand-waving.

    Why the Unity Campaign doesn't work: The Unity Campaign attempts to inform the public that there's another type of doctor out there who carries a DO at the end of his name, and by virtue of this fact alone, the person who's taken in by this ad would seek out a DO the next time he/she needs to see a physician. Are you kidding me? No where in any of these Unity Campaign ads does the AOA attempt to establish a REAL, SOLID difference between MDs and DOs. All the AOA does with the ads is, unfortunately, HAND-WAVING. "DOs: Treating people, not just symptoms." That'll reel them in.

    It's wasted money.

    The DO profession is currently not unique enough from the MD profession to make any attempt at establishing a difference worth the time and effort of both the AOA and their membership.
     
  16. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    Think about how you were as a grade school kid. Did you think about the deep differences between different philosophies of medical practice?

    If you were like most kids in the US, you probably grew up with images of doctors on television: Marcus Welby, M.D.; Doogie Howser, M.D.; ER; Chicago Hope; St. Elsewhere and all these other medical shows.

    Unless you grew up in Kirksville, MO (where supposedly 1 in 20 physicians is an MD rather than a DO) you knew a DOCTOR was he who had M.D. at the end of his name. In comes a medical student, someone who is going to become an MD, who tells me that he's really going to be a DO but he'll still be a doctor somehow. How? Why? OMT? Hands-on? Holistic? Treat pts not sx?

    Knowing what I know today I have nothing but respect and admiration for a profession that's equal but offers much more than my profession could offer, but whose practitioners are really no different, on average, from practitioners in my neck of the woods.

    I think instead of outreach programs, ad campaigns, and pamphlets, the AOA and the osteopathic profession should concentrate first on figuring out what makes them truly different (and be able to put it in writing without hiring a PhD in English to help) and seek to make the profession different.

    In my mind the osteopathic profession could potentially offer so much more, but it's a resouce untapped because of a true lack of enthusiasm from within and without. Find the enthusiasm that consumed the early DOs and go forward to make the profession different.

    Gevitz has always been concerned that the profession was losing its uniqueness and identity, and I have to agree.
     
  17. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    The DO profession is currently not unique enough from the MD profession to make any attempt at establishing a difference worth the time and effort of both the AOA and their membership

    Beautifully stated Tim!
     
  18. prolixless

    prolixless Senior Member
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    The fundamentals of the osteopathic philosophy:

    1. The human being is a dynamic unit of function 2. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms which are self-healing in nature 3. Structure and function are interrelated at all levels 4. Rational treatment is based on these principles.

    The problem is that this philosophy is not one that can be stated simply and concisely so that the lay-person can quickly understand it. In addition, each one of the above principles is loaded with a wealth of expounding concepts. Tim is correct in that DO's have to do a lot of hand waving if they want to state and explain osteopathy to the average person.

    The allopathic community has the advantage because they have no explicit philosophy that defines their profession. Consequently you have MD's who treat symptoms and not people, MD's who treat people and not symptoms, MD's who incorporate "alternative" therapies into their modes of treatment and those who do not, and the diversity goes on. And then, to complicate matters worse, you have MD's who embrace all, some, or none of the osteopathic principles stated above.

    It's a difficult situation for DO's and I must admit, as Tim has guessed, that I've struggled trying to explain osteopathy to people. When talking to the layperson about osteopathy, I've either oversimplified or overcomplicated it. I'm still trying to discover that one simple phrase that will enlighten everyone who asks me about osteopathy, but I'm beginning to think it doesn't exist.

    Have you ever heard the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words?" Well I think osteopathic medicine is that way. It is not something that can be explained in a concise and simple sentence. People either have to research and study it, which takes a lot of time out of their lives, or they have to actually go to DO's and EXPERIENCE the different approach to treatment they might get compared to going to the average MD. The problem, however, is that too many DO's are simply MD's in disguise. The AOA can only do so much--the DO's themselves have to actually distunguish themselves from the average MD. Of course, Hollywood and TV can help out some too! I'm still waiting for a DO to appear on "ER". Should I hold my breath?
     
  19. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    You could always do what the early chiropractors did: Sensational advertising, unethical practices, and FLOODING the world with DCs. Today I think a DC is more recognizable than a DO, and that is, to me and to a bunch of other wanting to see the profession move forward, sad.

    But the AOA's higher than that and I'm glad.
     
  20. Brennan

    Brennan Senior Member
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    TO - oldmandave
    Well i mean think about it....when i found out about it, it was from a person. And the person was passionate about it and knew how to explain it. We talked, literally, for hours about it.
    I think finding out what it is from a commercial trying to explain DO's in one catchy phrase, is a little cold.
    Does that represent us very well?, we are traditionally known as, the "hands on" friendly doctors.
    but in defense of the ads...it does go one step closer to educating the public about us.

    After considering everything. I think the best route is, continue the advertising and educate us DO students so we can go to colleges and high schools and do a hands on approach...haha i just cant say that enough...lol....but the drawback is that puts even more of a workload on the students.
    what do you think?
     
  21. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Let me ponder your points...
     
  22. Brennan

    Brennan Senior Member
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    Old-man dave.....as to why there should be two different institutions, then read what i posted on DO-MD merger board-----
     
  23. Brennan

    Brennan Senior Member
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    Sorry-- its called Unified medical...
     
  24. ychromosome

    ychromosome Junior Member
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    The AOA is a joke when it comes to representing DOs as qualified physicians. Their main objective is to separate themselves as clinicians. Unfortunately, the American public does not like imposters (ala...the XFL vs the NFL )and they look at DOs like second rate doctors because of this idealogical attitude. Anyone see the episode of The Sopranos mentioning this subject? Embarassing. The AOA should be more inclusive and less willing to separate themselves from allopathic medicine. People dont really care what the letters read after their doctor's name, as long as that person makes them feel better. The goal of the AOA should be to first make the letters "DO" synonomous with "MD" in the American head, not to spend every dollar trying to separate the two. America first has to accept DOs at every level of society and culture before they hand us the crown. I want to see TV shows about DOs. I want Trauma- Life in the ER to distinguish a DO vs an MD. I want ER on thursday nights to bring a DO on cast. "D-O" has to become a part of verbal Ameircan lingo, or we'll be running on a treadmill for a long, long time.
     
  25. I like that idea, that's just what they should do... :D

    They should have an episode where Dr. John Carter does a few Osteopathic Manipulations, and they ask him what he's doing, then he admits that he's a DO and teaches the philosophy behind it!

    I've only seen the show once or twice, but I'd watch it more if it had a DO :eek:
     
  26. ER_DOc_2b

    ER_DOc_2b Junior Member
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    The idea of a DO on ER is an interesting and not so far fetched idea. The show has two EM docs that act as technical advisors and one of them is a DO. If I remember correctly his name is Dr. Jon Fong. I can't remember where it was but I remember reading an article about him and the show and it talked about the interaction between him and the cast (George Clooney playing basketball with him sticks in my mind). I would hope that Dr. Fong has taken the opportunity to educate the cast and crew about osteopathic medicine. Maybe one day we will see a DO on ER.
     
  27. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member
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    As I remember, the first chiropracter was a DO from the Des Moines School... Palmer was his name I think. Whats sad to me is that 100 years later, everybody knows what a chiropracter is but no one knows what a DO is. Should we be getting in touch with their PR people?
     
  28. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member
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    I to, would be glued to the TV every thursday night if they put a DO on the cast of ER!!!
     
  29. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    An osteopathic physician in the show E.R..... That would most definitely be a good addition to the show.... it's pretty good PR for osteopathic docs.... I just hope that if they do, that they don't start misrepresenting us....

    Why isn't there a D.O. in E.R. by now, the have an F.M.G.? What gives? :cool:
     
  30. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    I looked up several sites of chiropratic docs and historical info on the web....

    The Palmer's are the founder.... I guess there's a heated debate as to which one really founded it (D.D. or B.D.).... Anyway, he was from Iowa... so he might have gotten the education in Des Moines School....

    The problem that most people don't know this is that in every site I went to, they don't mention him to have gone to a medical school.... All they state is that he was a magnetic healer, used manipulation, etc. etc. .... I wonder if chiropractors aren't aware that their founder WAS trained as an osteopath? or is there tension between osteopaths and chiropractors alike?

    Anyway, just thought I'd share that....

    Does anyone know who to write to regarding incorporating osteopathic physicians in the show E.R.? I wouldn't mind writing something up and get those NBC people some guiding light :D
     
  31. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member
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    I just e-mailed NBC regarding putting a DO on ER... we'll see if they ever reply!!

    I checked my notes, DD Palmer did start chiropractic medicine. There is question though whether he was a student or a patient of Still.
     
  32. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    What's NBC's email? I'll send a letter advocating my future profession.... :cool:
     
  33. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member
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    I went to NBC.com then went to "TV shows" then found an e-mail icon.
     
  34. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member
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    Thanks for the info for NBC e-mail jsdmu. I will send a letter as well.

    Homer J
     
  35. muonwhiz

    muonwhiz Senior Member
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    great idea! BE SURE TO HAVE THEM SHOW THE do CHARACTER DOING OMM.
     
  36. Gauravvv

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    All of you guys are sooo correct about the publics unnawareness about DOs and Osteopathic medicine in general.
    I stumbled upon DOs by mistake. I was searching for BA/MD combined programs on the net by looking for schools individually. I grew tired of this and went on a search engine, where I got the same results. So i searched for BS/ and luckily, NYIT's BS/DO program came up and I loved the philosophy right away! when i started posting on SDN, i mentioned the "stigma" that is associated with DOs, and this is mostly becasue, students such as my self have, or had, no idea what on earth a DO was. The AOA really has to do a better job of marketing themselves or atleast showing that we are just as good, if not better in approach, than MDs, thanks, thats just my opinion. :D ;) :D
     
  37. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member
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    In case you didn't already notice, I started a new thread "DO's on ER." I put the web adress on there, so feel free to e-mail them and let them know that we want a DO on ER!!!

    Any plot ideas for our new "theoretical" DO cast member?
     
  38. go GOP

    go GOP Junior Member
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    You are correct--Dr. Fong is a Technical Advisor for ER and an ER doctor. He is a graduate of WUHS and he lectures to us there. Maybe a few letters to him could be helpful.
     
  39. acaban

    acaban Senior Member
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    I sent the show an e-mail. I wonder if they really listen to our suggestions or they place our messages in the spam folder. he he he.

    AJC :D
     

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