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The Practicality of DOs in US Healthcare

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should DOs be incorporated into MDs?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • No

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • There is more to it

    Votes: 3 37.5%

  • Total voters
    8

US_healthcare

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r/Change my view:

I am a pre-med student trying to decide between DO and MD schools, but I am having a hard time finding evidence that supports becoming a DO. My GPA and MCAT score are sufficient for both options, so that is not the deciding factor here.

From the research I've done, it seems like the main selling point behind becoming a DO is the holistic patient-oriented approach to healthcare. While this seems to be the professed distinguishing factor between MDs and DOs, does the former not also practice this approach? It isn't like MDs arbitrarily treat symptoms without regard to lifestyle, familial factors, and financial obstacles. And if they do, should this not be changed? Further, isn't the holistic approach a selling point behind nursing school as well? I think this approach is absolutely crucial to healthcare, which is why I strongly believe in expanding scope of practice for nurses, especially NPs.

So if nurses are allowed to practice to the fullest extent of their training, and MDs also take into consideration more than just the disease and symptoms, where does this leave DOs? In nearly every other developed country, where the majority of MDs practice primary care and nurses have a much greater scope of practice, DOs do not exist.

So the view I hope to have changed is this: if the US healthcare system better trains MDs for patient care (which it already is doing) and nurses gain more physician-like responsibilities, is the position of DOs redundant? Is the system as it currently stands not a burden on the healthcare system?
 

Lawpy

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DOs have equal practice rights as MDs. They are both board-certified and licensed physicians. The reasons for having a separate degree are entirely historical and political. The holistic selling point is not unique to DOs as you have pointed out.

I support the DO degree being reintegrated into MD because I don't see the need to have two degrees that ultimately result in the same outcome of producing a board-certified and licensed physicians. But as long as the DO regulatory bodies (AOA and COCA) continue to oppose this reintegration due to political and historical reasons, the two degrees will continue to remain distinct.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Now that there's no grade replacement for DO applicants, the only thing really attractive about them is that they have lower GPA/MCAT means. If they merge the two, that will start to disappear I think, since the DO bias will go away. Sure, you'll still have some people avoiding the schools for a while since PDs will probably still recognize the schools, but eventually I think it'll even out.
 

US_healthcare

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DOs have equal practice rights as MDs. They are both board-certified and licensed physicians. The reasons for having a separate degree are entirely historical and political. The holistic selling point is not unique to DOs as you have pointed out.

I support the DO degree being reintegrated into MD because I don't see the need to have two degrees that ultimately result in the same outcome of producing a board-certified and licensed physicians. But as long as the DO regulatory bodies (AOA and COCA) continue to oppose this reintegration due to political and historical reasons, the two degrees will continue to remain distinct.

Would you say that the system as it stands is a burden on the healthcare system? It is unfortunate that lobbyist groups have so much sway over something as crucial as healthcare. Although that wouldn't be outside of the norm for the US.
 
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