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What IS this DO philosophy everyone is talking about?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by hotinwoof, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. hotinwoof

    7+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
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    I'm curious about something. DOs do everything allopaths do, nowadays. What is this "DO philosophy" everyone talks about when defending DO medicine? I asked this DO ER doctor one day if he did anything differently than the MD ER doctor. He said no, he doesnt manipulate anything or treat the patient as a whole. Everything is the same as the allopath. So, my question is, when and where is this "DO philosphy" used or even seen? I'm not ragging on DO, I'm just trying to see a difference in the two. I clearly do not see a significant or identifiable trait seen in DOs that I dont see in the MDs, when it comes to the workplace.
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  3. Amra

    Amra A Quiet Voice of Reason
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
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  4. The Man

    The Man Junior Member

    Oct 23, 2001
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    You won't have your question answered by reading the extremely long ramblings referred to by Amra. That is just a bunch of nonsense about letters.

    The Philosophy of Osteopathy is best stated by Andrew Taylor Still who founded it. He lived in a time when the standard of care included introduction of poisonous substances or extraction of large amounts of "bad blood" in order to let out the disease. The "Heroic" school of medicine had the working premise that doctors had to intervene with drastic treatments in order to get rid of the disease. A.T. Still came to the realization that "health is the natural state of man" and decided that it was the physicians job to help the body heal itself.

    He was quite successful with his method of practice and his progeny carried on his philosophy. When penicillin was discovered, osteopaths embraced it as a treatment for disease as they did many other drugs but the main focus has been to maintain a state of health for the patients. The practice of osteopathy has long focused on diet and lifestyle to help people to learn how to prevent disease. Even as recent as the 1970s they were scoffed by the mainstream medicine community (AMA) for suggesting that what a person ate might have something to do with their health.

    With the pressure of HMOs and public health findings, mainstream medicine has come around closer to the long-standing osteopathic practice of preventative medicine. They are more likely to encourage patients to change their eating habits to lower cholesterol than before when drugs were dispensed freely without suggestion of any change of behavior on the patient's part. Don't suggest to a MD that the mainstream practice of medicine is becoming more osteopathic in practice if you want him to be your friend but, if you look into the history of medicine in this country, you will be able to see that that is exactly what has been happening.

    These days there is really little difference between many MDs and DOs in practice. Most will prescribe the same drugs when needed and perform the same procedures that are called for. The "pure at heart" osteopath will likely try to encourage diet/lifestyle modifications more strongly than the pharmaceutical rep's MD golf partner but the mainstream is mostly the same. The practice of manipulative medicine is not used as often as I think it should be in lieu of drug therapy because "patients don't understand" or "there is not enough time." If I recall correctly, vaccinations were not understood at first but after education of their effectiveness they have been accepted by the vast majority of people.

    OMM is a tool that many DOs never utilize that could help many. The fact that a physician can manually re-align joints and alleviate soft tissue problems without the use of muscle relaxers or long-term use of narcotic pain medicines should be welcome with open arms. I have witnessed my mother hobble into our physician's office on crutches and, after a manipulation of the lumbo-sacral region of the spine, walk out carrying the crutches.

    Unfortunately, many DOs are not really osteopaths and they don't want to be different than the MDs so they don't practice OMM. Those DOs are the same ones who are fussing about wanting to have MD after their names so they can be just like the allopathic doctors they aspire to emulate. This is why there really doesn't seem to be any difference. I think that since the AMA has changed so much in the last 30 years to be more like the osteopaths, they should aspire to change their letters to DO. :eek:

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