What is happening to Osteopathy???

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by TCOM-2005, Aug 28, 2001.

  1. TCOM-2005

    TCOM-2005 Junior Member

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    For the last six months I have been watching the osteopathic community very closely, only to be disappointed with what is being done to advance the profession. So far there has been one reoccuring theme: Keep OMM alive. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. We are at a wonderful position to apply our philosophy to every aspect of clinical and research medicine and this is the only thing that I keep hearing. My questions and suggestions:
    1.By using OMM primarily as a treatment modality aren't we limiting its use??? It would better serve us as a diagnostic tool. I know that it is, but it is not always taught with that in mind.
    2.Maintaining our professional "D.O." is keeping us from being accepted completely as physicians in every respect. I firmly believe that we should adopt the M.D.-O to emphasize our additional training. Focusing on our differences alienates patients. Some of you may rightfully argue otherwise.
    3.We should be producing more D.O./MBA, D.O./J.D., D.O./Ph.D, and D.O./MPH students to advance our field.
    4.More basic science research needs to be done in areas that complement the osteopathic philosophy, particularly in OMM, preventive med., basic science, etc...Think about this one hard before you respond. Then look at the minimal amount of any form of research being done at Osteopathic instituions, compared to Allopathic schools.
    *Basically what I am saying is that Osteopathy is holding on to OMM so tightly that it is ignoring many of the other aspects of being physicians, and establishing ourselves as the next revolution in medicine.
    I write all of this because I embrace the osteopathic philosophy, though I come from a family of M.D.s. I want to see my profession push foward with the fervor it should.
     
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  3. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Well, then why don't you get involved in some research? TCOM is leading the nation in osteopathic research and receives the largest amount of NIH funding compared to any other D.O. school. The opportunities should be plenty. Moreover, I hope you're already a DO/MPH or DO/PhD student because, as you have pointed out, more osteopathic clinical scientists are needed. If you're not part of the solution, then you must be part of the...

    We all wish that the public had a better appreciation of the D.O. degree, but changing the degree will do nothing to enhance the public's perception of D.O.'s. Patients vaguely understand the distinction between a "doctor", a "nurse", and a "tech." Most patients can't grasp the diffeences in training between LVNs, RN, PhDs, RDs, PTs, OTs, MDs, or DO's. Only the production of quality physicians who offer quality care, conduct quality research, AND CAN OFFER THEIR PATIENTS A MODALITY RELATIVELY UNOBTAINABLE FROM ALLOPATHIC PHYSICIANS will enhance the public's appreciation of us. Any combination of the letters "D" "O" "M" will only confuse patients further. Moreover, at the end of the day no one will care about the letters behind your name. People will be impressed with your skills and knowledge. They will be impressed that your notes are complete, you rounded on all your patients, your orders make sense, that you gave a good sign-out, and you left no strings hanging. I've done a number of rotations in large allopathic settings (including JPS in Fort Worth) and really no cares about the DO vs MD premed debate. In fact, when I have opportunity to tell patients, nurses, or residents about osteopathic medicine they think its a good thing.

    The osteopathic community is concerned about the underutilization of OMT because this is one of the OBVIOUS manifestations of our unique training. Osteopathic philosophy is nice and sounds pretty, but it also easy to give lip service to. Many, many physicians are holistically oriented. That is not the sum of osteopathic training. Osteopathic medical training involves applying a worldview toward patient care. It involves the application of manual medicine who help the body seek homeostasis. What will impress people is not that you're a holistically oriented, biopsychosocially adept physician. Those are a dime a dozen. What will impress them is when you *DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR HANDS* in the hospital or in the clinic that makes your patient feel better. The proof is in the pudding. If you graduate and end up looking no different than a MD just with different letters behind your name, then you have failed to assimilate something in your training. Sadly, you would not be alone. I encourage you read Norman Gevitz who makes the convincing argument that unless osteopathic medicine can offer patients a philosphy that is actually grounded in unique diagnostic and treatment modalities, there is no compelling reason for this profession to exist. Without tangible treatment modalities we are redundant.

    I strongly encourage you to go to the OMM department at TCOM and ask if you can spend a half hour with Dr. Carnes, Dr. Gish, or any of the OMM residents on the OMM hospital service. Then, I suggest you go upstairs and see Dr. Blanck and ask him what impact the relative lack of recognition of his medical degree had on his career. Come back and let us know what you learn.
     
  4. Toran

    Toran Senior Member

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    Osteopathic research center: look it up!

    Then come back and tell me we aren't trying. Join the force!
     
  5. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair

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    How many supportive studies will it take to convince you? I searched on the internet and found, within the space of about 5 minutes, at least ten references from reputable journals concerning the scietific basis of OMT. Obviously, there is more to the osteopathic physician than OMT, but this distinguishing characteristic is definitely being researched and supported (re: http://www.dohealthnet.com/article1018.html ). In fact, the NIH is currently planning the establishment of a research center for the benefits and future applications of OMT, a grant for which my school, KCOM, is vying. Your argument may have been valid twenty years ago, but times have changed. You should research a little and forget about the anymosity of the past. It is to be expected that medicine of 100 years ago has advanced more than Osteopathy of 100 years ago considering the mass infusion of research funds (donated by Rockefeller, et al) traditional medical establishments received in the early part of the last century. As a new science, Osteopathy was not included, so our research has been almost completely funded by the schools' tuition (which is markedly higher than other medical schools), meager grants faculty could muster, and the endowments of graduate physicians. As the first generation of fully licensed Osteopaths are retiring and, sadly, dying, more money is being infused into the system to fund this research, which is why we are seeing an increase in activity. Maybe you can be part of the solution by dedicating a portion of your future earnigns to your school to support research! I, for one, would like to commend our presidents, deans, and the AOA for the wonderful job they have done with limited funds.
     
  6. Toran

    Toran Senior Member

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    So, Histo doesn't have you totally distracted John?

    I am checking to make sure the DO page is fully supported!
    Thanks for the help
     
  7. TCOM-2005

    TCOM-2005 Junior Member

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    My points have been completely missed. I am a proud to be an osteopathic student. I am proud to be a student at TCOM.
     
  8. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair

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    Maybe I'd do better if I'd stay off SDN! Watch me in class sometime--I think my laptop distracts me more than helps me! I can't help it: as long as there are MP3s I have to download!!!
     
  9. Toran

    Toran Senior Member

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    Please don't watch me in class, for most of the time I am catching up with the daily news or searching for research grants.
    Biochem, histo, DO: what lecture is this?
    Oh, next page....great
     
  10. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member

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    There are so many things that us DO's are doing that are holding us back... but i've posted my gripes too many times and am really just too tired to do so anymore. Besides, who the hell cares what I think?!
    I would recommend that you all read, "DO's Eat Their Young." I can't remember the authors name but he makes many good points about our current situation.
    One of my newest gripes though, has occurred recently... I was telling some students that I'm really considering surgery. Their response was, "what, you don't want to be a DO?" I couldn't even respond. It was just much too depressing.
     
  11. grahmcracker

    grahmcracker Member

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    Regarding your point #4:

    Remember what Dr. Dickey was saying in his 2nd lecture? A strong component of Osteopathic "prevalence" in the research community comes from the fact that there was "competition" between the two schools at the turn of this century. It wasn't until WWII that legislation was enacted to "allow" us to write prescriptions for antibiotics.

    You see, many MD research schools succomb(sp?) to the "profit" motive. Pharmaceutical firms benefit in a reciprocal relationship with the "established" or perceived established "name" of the school. It's all about making money. Our whole economy is profit based. That's why it is "who" you know (private donors) and not "what" you know (integrated philosophy).

    It takes generations for public perceptions to change. It took more than 100 years after Lincoln enacted the civil rights bill for "relative" equality to truly exist. Expectations for the public to view Osteopathy in an "enlightened" manner will take a similiar time frame UNLESS more students and DO's are willing to put the time and effort into advancement (public education and politics) of the DO philosophy (treating the patient and NOT the symptoms). Many MD schools cling to the profit motive and focus their concerns on treating symptoms with medicinal therapies.

    That's kind of like putting a bandaid on a broken wheel. People must be treated diffently in order to attain better overall public health and ultimately save us all tax dollars. I can guarantee that most MD research schools are NOT interested in treating a patient spiritually as well as physically. That's truly what makes DO's different and why we should fold MD into our loop and not we into theirs. ;)
     
  12. Toran

    Toran Senior Member

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    You'll do fine. There must be an integration of osteopathic principles in to our practice. That is all that is attempting to be stated here.

    Toran
     
  13. drchrislareau

    drchrislareau Member

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    The world needs more osteopathic surgeons. Go for it!
     

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