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Why does it seem like most people don't know what a D.O. is?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Hobbes01, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Hobbes01

    Hobbes01 Member
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    Hi All,
    I'm curious as to why most people who are not closely involved in the medical field have never even heard of a D.O. (at least that's what I've found in many areas of CA) I personally didn't know about D.O's until I decided to apply to medical school. Only after a lot of research of my own did I understand more about osteopathy and grew to love the principles of osteopathic medicine. I don't understand why there isn't a board or something like that to educate the general population about what a D.O. is. (or is there?)
    Thanks for any and all input and insight.
    Hobbes
    P.S. If there is an old thread addressing this question please direct me to it...I couldn't find anything. And if that's the case, sorry for bringing it up again!
     
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  3. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member
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    there is a board...the AOA. From what I have heard and read, they don't do much publicity. I have heard that there is going to be a push the get the word out better about DOs. I have also heard that the AOA hired the same people who do the "Got Milk?" commercials to advertise osteopathic medicine. I dont know hoe true any of this is, but interesting nonetheless. good luck
     
  4. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
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    I know of several people who ARE closely involved with the medical field who don't know about DO's.

    Lack of advertising is one problem, but there is also the issue of lack of numbers (at least relative to MDs).

    We are talking thousands upon thousands more MDs than DOs. That right there is enough for people to overlook DOs.

    I guess Osteopathic Medicine is like those small-town, little known rock bands. The music is rockin, but they don't have the big name flare. They don't play on highly publicized stages.

    Well, until the AOA (or somebody) pushes advertising for osteopathic medicine, there will be the attitude there is now.

    I don't see why the AOA doesn't jump on Apollo Anton Ohno. Osteopathic medicine was mentioned during the damn Olympics on national television with his name in the same sentence. Grab the kid, do a TV commercial, and get the name out there.

    Well, we will see what the future holds.
     
  5. Hobbes01

    Hobbes01 Member
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    Really?? What was said about osteopathic medicine and Ohno?
     
  6. thirdangel

    thirdangel Senior Member
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    Hi! Actually I've seen advertising for DOs in Readers Digest and I think it's also in Oprah's Magazine, as well as some others. I've also seen it on the El trains in Chicago... So the ads are out there, but they definately need to be more visible, but I think it also depends on where you live.
     
  7. OsteoMD.

    OsteoMD. Wishful thinker
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    hobbes01,
    here is the article that you're interested in.

    <a href="http://www.aoa-net.org/MediaCenter/mediacenter.htm" target="_blank">http://www.aoa-net.org/MediaCenter/mediacenter.htm</a>
     
  8. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Not that I'm an expert on why many laypeople haven't heard of DO's, but here's my story.

    I didn't even know there were DO physicians until after I started college (well after, like a year before applying to med school). I found out later that the doctor who did my daughter's liver transplant surgery was a DO, and one of the three docs in my hometown is a DO.

    Granted I live in a very rural area, and people around here don't use the MD or DO nearly as much as the universal "Dr." People not involved in medicine who haven't been told about the different paths probably never even realize that there are two paths to practice medicine. I sure didn't. :)
     
  9. conmantlc

    conmantlc Member
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    There are the new ads with the heading: I go to a DO for... and then it lists all the different specialties. The problem with this ad campaign is that it doesnt' do enough to state that DO's have equal licensure and abilities as MDs. The ad states" DOs can prescribe medicine and perform surgery." This makes us sound like NPs or PAs or something of that nature. I think the ad campaign should focus more on letting people know that they are on an equal clinical capacity as MDs, but add a different touch to medicine. Does anyone know who to contact about ideas on ad campaigns? Does the aoa have a department on this, or does SOMA do this?
     
  10. Treybird

    Treybird Senior Member
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    I agree with Jamier2 that most laypeople just know that the person who treated them in the ER or family practice clinic, or wherever, was a doctor. To them it doesn't matter whether or not they were treated by a DO or an MD. To most people it's all the same, with the exception of those who receive manipulation.

    Do we need to make a big racket about the differences between an MD and a DO when ultimately we're trying to have the same access to aptients and specialties? It will only end up confusing most people. The major difference seems to be in philosophy only, again except with manipulation, and I assume that those DO's who plan on using it will educate their patients appropriately. People will chose a physician based on personality and competency, not initials.

    I've found that it's easier to tell people I'm going to med school rather than telling them I'm going to osteopathic school not because I'm an MD-wanna-be or ashamed of the fact, but because than I have to go into this 40 minute dissertation about the differences between an MD and DO while at the same time trying to explain that we can do everythign an MD can do (except in England apparantly) all the while watching their faces get more and more twisted with utter confusion. I finalyl just say forget it, I'm going to med school. That they can comprehend and live with. People just want competent medical care so let's focus on that rather than trying to explain philisophical differences.

    Does anyone have the website that lists where DO's can practice internationally?
     
  11. Hobbes01

    Hobbes01 Member
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    Thanks for that link OsteoMD!
    I agree that sometimes it gets tiring explaining to people what a DO is--I think it's worthwhile to get the word out though.
     
  12. OsteoMD.

    OsteoMD. Wishful thinker
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    no prob hobbes01
    there are couple of books that you can read upon on the history of osteopathic medicine. funny that you mentioned that there weren't many do's in cali because i believe it's mainly due to the incident which allowed the conversion of do degree to md degree back in the 60's. for example, do you know that uc irvine med school was originally a DO med school? so was a major hospital down south..probably LA county hosp (someone can fill me in here)
    i'm not so sure if you're familiar with northern cali hospitals. the senior committee at john muir hospital in walnut creek were the DO's who converted their degree to MD's during the 'incident'.
    talk to physicians, or do some research on your own, you would be surprised how history has evolved and changed the many perceptions in our society today. :)
     
  13. Doc AdamK in 2006

    Doc AdamK in 2006 Now 2 year UB Med Doc
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    JPHazelton is right. The AOA needs a spokeperson like Apollo Ono (sp) I think JP said this back when the winter Olympics were going on.

    I bet there are many well know athletes that see DOs everyday.

    Even though I'm going to be a MD I'm planning to take classes in OMM. And I will probably take on a DO as a partner in my practice.

    AK
     
  14. xraydoc

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    IMHO there seems to be a little inferiority complex here and there needn't be. We indeed have a less than usual medical degree but it by no means is less or inferior. The list of DO's at major teaching institutions and in major positions of power is very impressive.

    I am going to give some advice here that has been learned by experience (I have been in practice for two years now) If you like the DO profession then become a DO. If you get into an osteopathic school and it necessarily is not your first choice--don't despair either, Harvard and Yale can't accept 40000 students! does that make the rest of us bad docs or uneducatable? BY NO MEANS. I work extensively with MD's and DO's and I can confidently say that there is a healthy range in both. The two best radiologists I have ever seen are DO's. I send my kids to an MD, because I think she is the best. My wife goes to a DO OBGYN because I think he is brilliant. I have personal experience with incompantent MD's and there are DO's that I wouldn't send my dog to as well. Please learn right now that you need to be confident in yourself and your own decisions, don't ever compare yourself to another person or his/her decisions because that will never make you happy. I know radiologists who are ashamed that they are not surgeons and surgeons who wish they were radiologists. I know physicians who make 400K a year and are pissed off all the time because there is another person in another state who makes 600K. Be envious of only your own planned future!

    You shouldn't care about the degree of varying respect you are or are not given, believe me if you become an excellent physician you will ALWAYS get the respect and money that you deserve, any other type of homage is meaningless.

    Be confident in yourself and enjoy your life. If people don't like it then tell them to go jump in the lake. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  15. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. I get the same confused looks when I tell people I am training to be a radiologist. As long as you enjoy your work and get satisfaction from it, you shouldn't care about those that are ignorant to what you do. Patients will appreciate your care, just as clinicians (most of them) appreciate the assistance of a good radiologist.
     
  16. Treybird

    Treybird Senior Member
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    Well said xraydoc. I agree with you 100%.

    Anyway, I have many questions for you and Whisker Barrel Cortex. I've been thinking very seriously about going into radiology. Is radiology as brutal as it seems? Do you like what you do or do you wish you had more patient contact? Do you do any interventional neuroradiology? Any insight into radiology would be great. Thanks.
     
  17. xraydoc

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    Treybird,

    As far as brutality goes, I think radiology is one of the most mentally demanding of residencies, just because of the volumes of info that you must assimilate to pass your written and oral boards. It is not too physically demanding except for probably the middle years of residency where you take the most call.

    I think that you must enjoy technical details, minutae, trivia, pathology, anatomy and focused patient contact. If you enjoy radiology then it will be relatively easy for you, if not then you won't be able to sleep at night and will dread going to the hospital. The same goes for other specialities as well.

    I really (true) have never met a radiologist who says he dislikes his job. I can't say the same about any other speciality that I have come into contact with. Sure you dislike things at times but over-all I love what I do, I enjoy working!

    The technology and pathology is endlessly fascinating in radiology, and you can have more patient contact than you think, it just isn't for an extended period of time. I am still amazed at what we can see and diagnose in the body, even as I am continually frustrated by the problems that are not solved by imaging. I do miss sometimes the excitement of personally being responsible for the very ill patient, but if you like that you can look at interventional radiology.

    I do some neuroradiology but was trained in abdominal imaging at U Wisc.

    It would be good to hang out with a radiologist and see what they do. That would give you a good idea if it fits your personality.

    The lifestyle can't be beat especially if you choose a good academic practice. Most private practivce radiologists are very happy as well and get to do (or have to do) all modalities which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it.

    What I personally enjoy the most is helping out and interacting with other clinicians. It is gratifying to be seen as the "expert" where they look to you to tell them what to do next for the patient. Many times you will know more about certain aspects of disease treatment and course than a general physician will and you can also be a big help to them in steering them in the righ direction. That is kind of fun.

    A wise person once said that wherever your treasure is, there will your heart
    be also. I think that you can apply that to a choice of professions and specialities. Your main focus should be on what you enjoy and who you are rather than on a perception or expectation of society or your peers.
     

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