Why doesn't the AOA use DO plugs so that people actually know what a DO is?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by clc8503, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. clc8503

    clc8503 Senior Member
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    I work as a Medical Technologist in Louisiana, and to my surprise, almost none of my colleagues know what a DO is, even though one works in our ER. This is simply pathetic. I realize that Louisiana has three Medical Schools and all three are allopathic, which means that the MD predominates in this state, but come one! Seriously! NO one in my entire department knew what the hell I was talking about when they asked me where I was applying to medical school!!! One of them said, "Oh that's Chiropractor School. They're quacks." I became so irritated that I could barely keep my composure. However I worked through it and did my best to explain the profession, which ended on a semi-positive note. However, that does not change how ridiculous this is.

    Why doesn't the AOA do more to produce awareness? It's quite obvious that the general public's idea of a doctor/physician is McDreamy M.D. f**king Merdith M.D. in the hospital break room on the hit show "Grey's Anatomy" or Christian Troy M.D. screwing some patient in the exam room (Nip/Tuck) or George Clooney M.D. saving a life on "ER". That being said, why doesn't the AOA pay one of these shows to introduce a D.O. to the staff; a D.O. plug if you will? They could make an entire episode out of it. Picture this: You're watching Grey's Anatomy and all the interns are whining about the new doctor who is a D.O. because he or she went to a different medical school than they did. As the story progresses the D.O. proves his or her place, someone sleeps with Meredith, the Nazi b*$tches irately at someone, McSteamy screws someone's wife, and bingo, you have the same show with a D.O. plug. Our general population, which obtains most of their info from CBS/NBC sitcoms, becomes more enlightened and starts to see DOs as being similar to MDs, applications to Osteopathic Medical Schools increase, the AOA begins to grow, awareness increases, less defending the profession, and people know what you are talking about when you bring up Osteopathic Medicine in conversation. Plus, there is no cheap MD/DO piss war in doing this, which is how many of these DO=MD ploys end up.

    I realize I should have more faith in the general public in terms of reading a book and knowing their healthcare professionals. However, that sounds very unrealistic.

    Sorry for the rant. No one made you read it.
     
  2. digitlnoize

    digitlnoize Rock God
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    Agreed, and I have wondered this many times myself.
     
  3. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    ...you're assuming that most of us would be comfortable with how the AOA would choose to portray DOs in such an advertising campaign. A not-insignificant number of us do not claim to belong to some distinctive "profession", belong to the AOA, or agree with their stewardship (or lack thereof) of the DO degree.
     
  4. hooperg

    hooperg Just some guy
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    The AOA isn't much of a leadership organization, but more of a dogmatic "good-ol'-boys" club that is fiercely resistive to change, mainstream advocacy, and integration.

    If you'd like to draw a fantastic parallel, think of them as a medical variant of the Magisterium. :laugh:
     
  5. zmeister22

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    Interesting :)
     
    #5 zmeister22, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  6. JaggerPlate

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    Bingo. If the AOA were to portray a DO on House or Nip/Tuck err whatever, all they would do is point out the differences and NONE of the similarities (we are a separate profession to them) and it would just make DOs look weird. They would point out OMM, holistic approach etc. The best way would be something simple, like a TV show with docs where one's nametag says MD and the other says DO, one episode they have a convo about medical school and the DO says ' I went to Philadelphia College of OSTEOPATHIC Medicine,' etc. This way, all you see is two doctors working side by side and it eases into the fact that DOs are just physicians, not a show that goes out of it's way to point out the differences and makes DOs look like hollistic osteopaths .... that wouldn't help anything. I agree though that something like this is probably the only way to educate the public.
     
  7. countthestars

    countthestars Resident
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    Funny, I was just got "The D.O" magazine for this month today and they have an article in the "AOA at Work" Section about how the AOA posted 4, thats right 4 brand spanking new videos on youtube to educate the public...:rolleyes: I think they gotta do a little more than just putting 4 videos on youtube.

    Wait, as I read on, they also had a column in the Chicago Tribune on DO and they also had an AOA audio news rls on Halloween about candy consumption. :rolleyes:

    There are MINOR things, The AOA really needs to step it up a bit and have a plug on a major TV show like House or Greys. Most ppl get their medical info from those shows in the first place.
     
  8. DOinMS

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    :highfive:

    :clap:

    These things are examples of what the AOA is "doing" to help bring more recognition to a degree that has outlived its usefulness. By their sad attempts it almost seems as if they too acknowledge the futility. I suppose things will change only when the House of Delegates has enough guts to vote for change -OR- when the general AOA membership is allowed to vote on these issues.

    My suggestion is for current DO students to flood the AOA President's Blog with messages of discontent and demand that certain issues be brought to the general membership for decision. I would also suggest that pre-meds considering DO flood the blog and voice their concern and hesitation over entering a profession that is so resistant to progress.
     
  9. Eudjinn

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    I agree that any attempt at putting DO's on TV by the AOA would make us more misunderstood, seem more like snake oil salesmen.

    I can see it now. The MD calls for a crash cart and the DO is doing muscle energy on the dying patient. Not helping our cause IMO.

    Instead of trying to "spread the DO knowledge" about ourselves or trusting anyone else to do it, we are better off not caring about how we are perceived. We know who we are. We know what we do. 95% of those in our profession know who we are and what we do.
     
    #9 Eudjinn, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  10. JaggerPlate

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    Hopefully funnier. :smuggrin:
     
  11. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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  12. clc8503

    clc8503 Senior Member
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    I do see your point, but at the same time, doing anything would be better than Dr. John Marshal D.O. advertising hydroxycut on daytime television. That did nothing but hurt the profession, considering that stuff is basically over the counter garbage. How about the fact that one of the makers of Sleep M.D. was a D.O.? Maybe Sleep MD simply sounded better for marketing purposes, or maybe it was something else altogether, like how they knew the public we would say, "Sleep DO"? What the hell does that mean?" How about when Paris Hilton's Psychiatrist was scrutinized, not for Paris' outlandish behavior while under his care, but simply because he was a D.O.. I actually saw an interview on tv where he was literally justifying his medical degree. I believe the media said something along the lines of, "He's not a real doctor. He's an Osteopath." Oh and my personal favorite was when Newsweek wrote an article in tribute of a Military Physician, who was a DO, and titled it "Hero MD". Apparently even after saving dozens of lives in the heat of battle, the media still gets it wrong. Also when Newsweek printed a correction for the mistake, they gave a 1960s textbook defintion of what a Osteopathic Physician is, making it seem like a profession that couldn't be further from practicing modern medicine (http://gawker.com/news/newsweek/newsweek-hero-md-is-totally-hero-not-so-much-md-161862.php). This list seems endless and all the AOA does is simply put a couple of videos up on youtube??? Oh and by the way, in order to find something on youtube you actually have to search for it first, so the only people that would see these videos would be people who were looking for them to begin with, which would mean that they knew something about the profession initially.

    I really just wish people could become more enlightened to the profession, maybe even enthusiastic. Well perhaps enthusiasm would be a bit much to ask for. I just want the profession to be respected......., or at least not disrespected. It has come a long way from it's humble beginning in the late 19th century and there is no reason that a physican should have to explain his or her right to practice medicine simply because he or she is a DO. You can argue that it doesn't matter what people think, and to some thick skinned individual that might actaully hold true. However, that does not justify the AOA shortcomings when it comes to educating the general public. Also, just because someone chooses to ignore a problem or simply refuses let it get to them, does not change the fact that a real problem does indeed exist.

    By putting videos on youtube the AOA is admitting that a problem exist. However, there short measures will ultimately prove to be fruitless. I mean good lord; I could put a video on youtube about Osteopathic Medicine, that's basically the same as doing nothing. I'm not saying introduce the OMM side of things in a sitcom plug, which insinuates the major DIFFERENCE to begin with. To many that difference is seen the only thing that a DO can do and so many fail to realize that they can do all that an MD can do, plus OMM. As another poster said, they could just show an MD and a DO working side by side doing the same thing, which would allow the public to see that DOs as healthcare professionals that do not where fruit hats, and chant around in circles performing spells and back massages on people, and that they can do more than prescribe herbal supplements like hydroxycut. I mean, I had the pleasure of actually talking to a D.O. Neurosurgery Resident at LSUHSC (Shreveport). When I told some of my friends they didn't even believe me. The sad part of this is that Osteopathic Medicine is not even new. It has basically been around as long as MODERN Medicine itself has. When it first surfaced in the late 1800s medicine was basically crap (hack saw amputations, opium dens, etc) so why is it still so far behind in terms of catching up with the media? There really is no legitimate excuse that justifies so few people knowing about Osteopathic Medicine. I believe that when a profession is failing in terms of being recognized by your average Wal-Mart shopper, it is a direct reflection of how little the professional organization that governs that profession is actually doing.

    Let me end this by saying I am a strong supporter of Osteopthic Medicine. You will find very few Pre-DOs in my state (louisiana) that are more enthusiastic about this profession, and so it is extremely humbling when almost no one knows what I'm talking about and when I see the ignorance that so many have towards DOs on such a regular basis. In saying this I'm not trying to bash the AOA in terms of claiming that they do not have there place. I just think they should do a hell of a lot more for the profession that they are supposedly representing.
     
    #12 clc8503, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  13. ceftazidime

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    :thumbup: Agreed. Along with pushing so much rural/underserved medicine, how about DO schools start helping medicine move forward by providing more opportunities for research, both bench and clinical (and no more surveys!). If you look at any of the big-name institutions (Harvard, Duke, etc) they established their prestige via scientific research. Granted, some of the well-established DO schools do generate good research, but I'm afraid with all these branch campuses and especially the opening of for-profit schools, research and therefore prestige/recognition will be virtually absent (like Caribbean schools).
     
  14. cliquesh

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    Are many osteopathic medical students vocal about their concerns with the AOA? And, just out of curiousity, how does someone get appointed to the AOA? Are there general elections?
     
  15. zmeister22

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    Sounds great. Now just get the NIH to give us some funding to do it. Oh, wait. That money is reserved for "real" (MD) med schools. Can't do the work without the money.
     
  16. DannMann99

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    Heart attack = heart muscle is dying = not enough energy... How would muscle energy NOT be the answer to that?


    http://www.pcom.edu/Research/Research_and_Scholarly_Activit/Research_and_Scholar.html

    Some of those are NIH funded. I couldn't find the link that says which. But I remember reading it in the school alumni mag.

    I feel like you can't be. I personally believe a lot of the distinction of DOs from MDs is a joke which ran out many years ago. For instance in this months The DO an article talks about diagnosing ADHD, and the author said how 'we as DOs are more suited to diagnose it because we view the whole patient' and then went on to give a list of sample questions or ways to think about it (assuming we should come to those conclusions quicker then MDs), in reality they were questions ANYONE would ask to diagnose ADHD... People use that distinction because it sounds good...
    But back to my original thought, I don't care whether they call it DO or MD (i'm apathetic about the title and i have stated that on numerous occasions), but for people who do feel a strong will to change the title you are up against the 'well you should have just gone to an MD school' arguement which is hard to argue... I personally see nothing wrong with being an MD certified in Osteopathy, but i'm also okay being a DO.
    I do think we have bigger things to worry about than the degree title though, but thats my 2 cents on the issue.
     
  17. BruceBanner

    BruceBanner strongest one there is
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    I dont think the AOA can be trusted to give DOs a fair representation. The AOA still rides the horse of "distinction"; that is, they are too concerned with promoting DO uniqueness rather than promoting them as fully-licensed physicians first, and DOs second.

    However, the more defensive DOs and DO students get about their side of the medical profession (and there really arent sides), the more people will raise eyebrows at them.

    Explaining yourself and even occaisionally defending yourself to others is just part of being a D.O. Not everyone knows what we are and nor will they ever. I think what matters is that DOs continue to work as confident, evidence-based practioners in ALL areas of medicine, not just PC. This will do more to carry the DO torch than some plug on Grey's Anatomy ever will.
     
  18. San_Juan_Sun

    San_Juan_Sun Professor of Life
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    Ah, the old AOA Boogeyman.

    I don't know who gets blamed for more stuff, Pres. Bush or the AOA.

    Look kids, DOs are thriving, when even 20 years ago there were significant barriers to the practice of osteopathic medicine. It may be frustrating when none of the x-ray techs, or so-and-so's mom, or whoever don't know what a DO is.

    But none of that matters. All that matters is that we practice good medicine. The rest will take care of itself.

    Don't expect the AOA to be all-powerful, because they aren't. And I freely admit, some positions held by the AOA may be frustrating, but I think a little respect to the people who have paved the way for the fortuitous situation DOs now find themselves in is in order. And FWIW, the AOA is going to change, just like all organizations do. So step up, get involved, and be a part of the positive change.

    And if you are a student/resident and onwards, and you haven't tried to put some small effort into making our organization better, you shouldn't talk. And if you're a pre-med, don't bash the club you ostensibly want to join. You have no room to talk.
     
  19. DannMann99

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    :thumbup:
     
  20. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    That's my point. There is nothing like "the profession" anymore. The profession is physician, and it is respected. Fit that mold, and you will be too. Become some hydroxycut hawking chiropractor and you won't. Your choice, but if you bought into the DO propaganda that's thrown around in the first two years and chose the latter, don't complain about it.
     
  21. JaggerPlate

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    I'm pretty sure the hydroxycut guy was a radiology resident ...
     
  22. silas2642

    silas2642 silas2642
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    Well, that hydroxycut guy is kind of hot. And he did lose weight, even if it had nothing to do with the pills. Anyway, you guys are putting out videoes to let the public know that you're out there and that unlike the allopaths you treat the "whole person and not just the symptom."-- just got back from youtube watching the video from AACOM. Almost died from watching it. Very cute.
     
  23. homeboy

    homeboy I'm super cereal.
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    Well said.

    No one cares if you're a DO, and this ambivalence will manifest itself once you leave the hallowed grounds of osteopathic education.

    "Oh, hey doc, glad to see you're here. Gladdis, this is my MD, Frank O'Conner. He's going to..."

    --"Actually, I'm a DO."

    "Sure, sure you are. Anyway, Gladdis, this is my MD, Dr. O'Conner. He's been managing my blood pressure for 20 yrs blah blah blah..."
     

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