Thursday, March 01, 2007

D.O. vs M.D.


I have had some inquiries as to what the difference between an M.D. and a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) is....so I thought I would write a little blog about it. There was a recent "letter to the editor" excerpt written in TIME magazine where an M.D. made some derogatory comments about about D.O.'s. The President of the American Osteopathic Association responded to this letter with some good thoughts:
"Hands Off the Osteopaths
I am deeply disappointed that Scott Haig, M.D., referred to osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) as "osteopathic manipulators" and lumped osteopathy in with what he calls "nothing-really-works-anyway-therapies" [Feb. 12]. D.O.s are physicians who receive extra training to examine and treat patients using a technique called osteopathic manipulative treatment. They also deliver babies, perform brain surgery and serve as family physicians to the underserved. D.O.s have been advocating solutions to issues such as Medicare physician-reimbursement cuts and medical-liability-insurance increases. Haig has done a disservice to 59,000 D.O.s in the U.S., including the former physician to President George H.W. Bush, the former U.S. Army surgeon general and physicians for professional sports teams.
JOHN A. STROSNIDER, D.O., PRESIDENT
AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION"
Here is how I explain the difference to people:
I think it is crazy, and stupid, to say that one profession is better than the other. I have come across so many doctors in my life....some are awesome, have great bedside manner, and care very much for their patients. Some doctors are in it for the money. Regardless of whether you are a D.O. or M.D., you can find doctors - both good and bad.
When looking at medical schools, it came down to two for me: The University of Iowa (M.D.) and Des Moines University (D.O.). As I researched the schools further, DMU had more of the qualities I was looking for. I wanted to go to a small school....I wanted teachers who had open-door policies and were always available.....and I wanted to learn with a hands-on approach. DMU fit that mold for me....and I have been VERY happy with my decision to go there.
A D.O. has all the same training as an M.D. We take the same curriculum.....have similar schedules......have to pass the state licensing boards......and can practice in any area of medicine. D.O.'s, however, are ALSO trained for 2 years in a modality of treatment called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. The philosophy of osteopathic medicine is that the body has the inherent capacity to heal itself...and by aiding the body's own mechanisms, we can help heal the patient. We strive to treat the patient as opposed to just the symptom. It is with this training that I feel I have something different to offer patients. I can treat them the same as any M.D. would - but I can utilize this treatment as well.
I feel proud to be a student of an Osteopathic medical school...and I will be proud to carry the letters D.O. after my name.

54 comments:

Melina said...

I have a friend who will only go to DO doctors, because they treat the whole patient like you said, not just the symptom. They try to find the cause, not just the "Fix", but my question is. How do you find a DO doctor. I don't live where my friend lives and would like to have my primary be a DO. I would greatly appreciate any help. Thanks

Privy Test said...

Very ignorant attitude for an educated person to take. Right now I see a chiropractor and that's only because I can't find an osteopath in my area. I have to say that while traditional medicine may have kept me alive, DO makes my life worth living.

Sidzer said...

i am in the process of applying to schools, and while osteopathy makes a lot of sense to me i am worried about the negativity attitude directed toward the practice. i also hear that it is more difficult to get a residency with a d.o. would i be able to convert a d.o. to a m.d?

Anonymous said...

From the Journal of the America Medical Association(JAMA) Sept 7 2005

Total DO in ACGME: 5675
Total Number of Residents/Fellows: 101,291
Percent DO: 5.6%

General Internal Medicine
Total # of Programs: 387
Total # of Residents: 21332
Total # of USMD: 11271
Total # of DO: 1097
Percent DO: 5.1%

Hematology/Oncology
Total # of Programs: 123
Total # of Fellows: 1020
Total # of USMD: 595
Total # of DO: 46
Percent DO: 4.5%

Oncology
Total # of Programs: 20
Total # of Fellows: 208
Total # of USMD: 140
Total # of DO: 6
Percent DO: 2.9%

Pediatrics
Total # of Programs: 204
Total # of Residents: 7811
Total # of USMD: 5415
Total # of DO: 442
Percent DO: 5.7%

Pediatric Heme/Onc
Total # of Programs: 60
Total # of Fellows: 312
Total # of USMD: 230
Total # of DO: 5
Percent DO: 1.6%

Radiation/Oncology
Total # of Programs: 79
Total # of Residents: 526
Total # of USMD: 493
Total # of DO: 8
Percent DO: 1.5%

Note that D.O.s only make up 6% of the total population.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what the purpose of this comment is... There are way fewer D.O.s in general so it's natural that there would be a smaller percentage. "M.D.s do their clinical rotations in a teaching hospital affiliated with their medical school while D.O.s do their clinical rotations in community hospitals and local doctor's offices"

Anonymous said...

Where D.O.s do their clinical rotations depends on their school.

Some schools have both MD and DO programs and students take classes together. i.e. Michigan State and University of New Jersey.

If you check the US News ranking for primary care, the D.O. program at Michigan State is ranked higher than the M.D. program.

It mainly depends on the school. Some D.O. schools are better than MD schools, some not.

In the end where a student does his residency after medical school is the most important. This is primarily determined by USMLE/COMLEX scores.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am currently enrolled in an MD program and I don't know much about DO. Based on what your post says about DO education it seems that we have very similar curriculum. I am offended a little by your comment regarding that DO school teaches you to treat the whole patient and not just the symptom---if there's anything that's been drilled into my head the past year that I've been in school--it's treating the WHOLE patient and that psychosocial history is just as important as PMH.
I am just curious though--how you get 2 years training of OMM/OMT in addition to your "same" 4 years of medical school education that we MDs receive.
What is your schedule? Is it the same as medical schools (first two years are classes/patient interactions) last two years are spent on wards?

Also, I would be interested in your comments regarding the fact that over 3x as many DO students fail the USMLEs than MD students do and that the average MCAT score of a matriculated DO is 26 while MD is 31 for 2007. Also many of my friends who applied to MD/DO schools said that if they would take any MD school over any DO school. I am not trying to put DO school down but it seems that you have an uphill battle in society--I would be hared pressed to think that if both MD and DO were to apply for a residency program with the same board scores etc that a residency would choose the DO over the MD.

Anonymous said...

It's always been kind of funny to me that so much time and effort is spent debating over who (DO/MD)is better, smarter, better residencies, more respect, more money, more power... I wonder what would happen if we all spent half as much time worrying about our patients, as we did worrying about ourselves. Because despite all our percieved differences, at the end of the day... aren't we all here for the same reason...to take care of sick people? Because truth be told, I dont care if your an MD or a DO, 45 on your MCAT and a John's Hopkins residency under your belt... if you can't help the people that come to you in their hour of need, your not worth the $30 white coat you walk around wearing.

If you care more about the glitz and glamour of that fancy little title in front of your name and the two letters behind it, more than you care about that person looking up at you from the hospital bed...then your a disgrace to the profession. No matter who you are, or what letters follow your name.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Get Over Yourselves

Anonymous said...

Dr. Get Over Yourselves,

Well put. Amen to that. I will be applying to both MD and DO schools this summer just to see what my chances are. If I am faced with both an MD and DO position waiting for me, I will have to make that decision when it comes time to. As of right now, I do not see what the big deal is. I believe D.O.'s are more personable, and are still as capable as any MD at performing their duties. Every MD out there who believes D.O.s are "beneath them," next time you or someone close to you gets sick (God Forbid) would you want someone who uses every opportunity to help heal as well as help cure your loved one, or one who throws out prescriptions like pez?

Anonymous said...

You had a chance to go to U of Iowa and you went to DMU? Disregarding the MD/DO distinction, the university of Iowa is very highly regarded and distinguished amongst medical schools, while DMU doesn't really stand out even amongst DO schools.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly what needs to be focused on Dr. GOY. I am a med student who currently works nights as an EMT. I applaud everyone who has the ambition and passion to be apart of something worth more than self preservation. M.D. or D.O. who cares. Take care of your patients the way you were trained to.

We Physicians said...

Very good post and as you can see there are many different opinions here. Why is that DOs encounter prejudice from the MDs? As Dr. GOY was saying we physicians need to focus on our patients not our titles. There are many MDs who do a great job out there, but there are many of them that are simply looking for a paycheck. Physicians have a reputation of being cold and detached from patients. Some of that is due to the workload that a physician has but some of that is also due to the fact that there is a lack of interest for the patient.
We all need to start caring more about our patients and less about our titles. I believe that DOs and MDs should attempt to work together as much as possible even though the approaches are sometimes different.

Anonymous said...

I am a clinician, and DOs spent their time manipulating while MDs learned how to treat the patient properly. DOs do not know what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you what is strange to me. First of all, let tell you I am Dad with college age kids. One of my friend's son was admitted to every D.O. school he applied to. The acceptances were received quickly after his interviews with the D.O. schools. Yet, he did not even get one interview with a M.D. school. What gives? Any body care to venture a guess? The other odd thing was a friend of his was accepted at Johns Hopkins bur rejected at SIU Med.

Best of Luck to all of you.
Dad from Chicago

mary said...

i have no confidence in d o s. They are mostly poorly qualified undergrads or professionals that want to be doctors. This is their only path.

Anonymous said...

DOs seem to be called second rate Doctors. They are wannabe MDs. I would have my health checked with a MD rather than a a glorified DO who wants to be called an MD. MDs are more skilled, properly trained and have excelled in School/Residency. It is clear that you get into MD program because you have done well in School. I can sleep better knowing well that an MD is taking care of me.

Anonymous said...

ALL doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.'s) are graduated in the United States under US graduate education guidelines and standards.

When you see an MD, he or she could be educated from Grenada, Uganda or Hati. While some of the best doctors my have graduated from Mexico or the like, smug, ignorant fools demanding that their doctor in the ER or elsewhere has an MD thinking that they are better served get what they deserve...

Additionally, DO's are commonly accepted into MD residencies at Harvard, Stanford and Yale and the like, however, no MD can/has ever been accepted into a DO residency (such as state university medical centers in Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, or West Virginia (which itself has one of the highest ranked osteopathic family medicine programs MD or DO in US News and World Report for the past several years). MD's do not have the extra training in osteopathic philosophies or skills.

In the 1960's, the California Medical Society offered and gave out MD degrees to any DO who would ask and pay a nominal fee. The MD school at UC Irvine was an osteopathic medical school that was converted. Any MD who says that a DO is not at least an equivalent degree IS OVER 40 YEARS BEHIND THE TIMES....

Anonymous said...

No disrespect to any MD or DO, but I am currently an undergrad getting ready to apply to MD/DO schools. To be honest, I bojangled my first year in college and it resulted in my low GPA, however, i gave up my social life and studied and started recieving 3.80-4.0 GPA's while taking 17-19 credits of 300+ level bio/chem classes. Lets say my chances of getting into DO school is better because of thier lower avg accepted GPA/MCATs. Its not that DO's are not as smart as MDs; Yes, I didn't know what I was doing my first years in college, but now that I got on the ball, I showed that I have what it takes to be a doctor, unfortunately MD schools are blind to see that, and look no further than numbers (GPA, MCAT). DO's will have a uphill battle for a good while until socially accepted as equals of MDs, but hey, look at MLK, now we have the first black president. Although MD sounds more wholesome than DO, DO's are more capable than MDs because they are trained to do manipulative medicine AND traditional prescribing.
As a final note, if we all would CITE OUR ARGUMENTS (like we were taught to do in Ugrad), then these empty arguments would be more meaningful. As far as I am concerned this whole thread is useless because its opinionated and not cited to show proof.

Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting. Since I was a kid, family friends would make comments about MDs versus DOs and there was always some sort of judgment attached to both...and usually nothing that correlated to the actual success in care to patients. Which always left me feeling like the debate was mostly social and academic, akin to a bunch of quarrelsome, immature intellectuals (the kind who grew up shooting their hands up to be first to answer a question in school). As an anti-intellectual intellectual (coined such by friends--I consider myself strictly anti-intellectual), I've thankfully never bought into the parsing of the professions. Today, as a patient of both MDs and DOs, I can honestly say I have received the best treatment from GOOD doctors. I know a DO who has performed incredibly as a surgeon and saved the life of a family member, and an MD who has been an incredible wholistic internist to another family member. Empirical, yes, but possibly most important (along with actual success in treating patients). And maybe most surprisingly, both DOs & MDs who treat me do so without any misgivings about having a lawyer as a patient!!! :-> P.S. My personal favorite doc is my DO gastro because he has pinpointed what none of the other c***suckers could find (including a couple jackasses with renown), and has recommended a great treatment regimen for what has been a pain in the ass--ummm, stomach. JD out!

Anonymous said...

...by the way, a very good friend and former f**k buddy while I was in law school, graduated as a DO from a well known U down the road from my school, and she is now professor of internal medicine at yet another very well known and respected U (top 10 escuela). Alas, now a state senator is bagging the woman I should have married...sigh! Any psychiatrists in the house!?!?!

Anonymous said...

I got my MD last year at Harvard and my twin sister got her DO at VCOM about the same time. Since grade school I have always been behind her academically... and so was my MCAT. Just because I have the letters MD next to my name does it mean I have the right to look down on DOs or any other profession... or any other human being? For those low life MDs who look down on DOs and other human being, I want to let you know that you don't deserve to wear that white coat. And for your information, you low life MDs, my sister got 36 for her MCAT and 3.91overall GPA for undergrad...she rejected Johns Hopkin and Yale MD programs for VCOM DO because Hopkin and Yale's interview only mention about her research and her scores instead of her personality and the caring aspects of a physician.

Anonymous said...

Curious thread... I am in a pre-med track now and working my way towards med school. My first choice is an allopathic school as it is closest to home (adult student w/kids & don't want to move), after that I will be applying to 4-5 each of allopathic and osteopathic schools. My rationale is simple; as an adult with family I am putting myself into a program that doesn't require an undergrad degree...I'm not actually convinced that being short a couple Humanities and Fine Arts credits will make me a less-qualified Dr..... 90 credits/no BS/BA makes me a tough sell. (3.9 and 31 MCAT)...may not be enough to get the deal done in an MD program. If an osteopathic school were closer, I'd apply there 1st...some people's choices are geographic! Most state schools favor residents (and many tuition rates show that). In the end, licensure requires the same standards and I would hope that THOSE scores reveal more about the ability of any Dr. than the name on their diploma. Incidentally, my brother is chief resident at a moderate-highly ranked program that has approx. 12 MDs and 5 DOs...all training to do the same job at the same place...In the end you complete the training and you pass licensure or you don't...do most people have any idea where their primary care physician went to school? DO or MD?...probably not...there may be a stigma associated with DO but the more there are and the better a job they do the more that will disappear...if the patients get better, great...that may be the best way of 'keeping score'

Anonymous said...

get over it!! all schools are equal. same classes and training. stop the bitchin and take care of your patients.. jesus christ you guys are idiots.

Anonymous said...

No. Not all schools are equal. Sadly there is a higher level of standards associated with M.D. schools between curriculum, pass rates, entrance scores, letters of reference, the list goes on. Having worked with both types of students and both types of residents, there are certainly excellent candidates in both categories. However, the number of well-intentioned but sub-standard practitioners is higher within the D.O. population.

There is a very clear distinction regarding evidence-based medicine rather than overal personal wellness. If everyone were so blunt as the previous poster, then it would make no difference if we were all "taking care of your patients" as a PCA, nurse, physician assistant, D.O., or M.D. Instead, you want quality and therefore seek out their credentials. A D.O. well regarded within his field will be recognized regardless of his initial training by his M.D. peers because he's proved his quality through residency/work training.

The same extension is not made on D.O. students because they are only tracked and scaled within their own school. Residency is the ultimate filter.

Anonymous said...

DO MD whatever, I trust both. What really bothers me is when a P.A. starts acting like a doctor. These people are not even required to have a masters degree. My sister-in-law is a P.A. and she acts as if she is a full blown accredited Dr. of medicine. She also expects to be treated as such. She is also more smug than even the most uptight Dr.'s I've met.

Andrew said...

I have to admit that I had a blast in undergrad. So much fun, in fact, that I had to work my way up from 2.58 at the end of sophomore year to a 3.67 when I graduated. Not an easy feat.

This, however, kept me out of MD programs, despite a solid MCAT score, a Master of Public Health, years of research, posters at major international conferences, and a year of teaching high school. I was waitlisted a few MD institutions, but we all know that means "hold your breath until you turn Looney-Tunes-Esque plaid in the face."

I was, however, accepted to a number of D.O. institutions. Come this fall, I will be attending one. I admit that I am not without an ounce of trepidation. Actually more than an ounce -- perhaps not a metric ton, but something statistically significant.

When I was an undergrad, I have to admit that I disparaged the osteopathic profession non-stop. "Nothing more than hippy-dippy holistic glorified chiropractors," was among my favorite quotes. I told myself that I'd rather get my MD from la Universidad de Guadalajara (that's in Mexico, for any geographically-challenged readers) before I would go osteopathic.

Now, having met countless D.O.s (and D.O. students) both as clinicians and friends. I have definitely fallen in love with the profession. I enjoy its philosophies, addition of 400-500 hours of neuromuscular education, and the fact that their schools actually want students of a non-traditional background (like me!).

I do, however, still have my concerns. I fear that we D.O.s still do not have the respect that we need in research. Additionally, having read some of these inflammatory comments, it is clear to me that there are still a number people who do not respect D.O.s as clinicians. Also, I am not looking forward to explaining to people that I am not a chiropractor, physical therapist, or an optometrist (no disrespect to any of those professions, of course).

I am only recently taking the advice of Dr. GOY (sorry, as a Jew, it is really funny to type that. Fellow members of the tribe will understand that) and others like him/her. It is about patient care and not letters after one's name. The education is equivalent besides the addition of OMM and no matter what type of school it is -- there are going to be really good docs and some pretty crappy ones as well. Additionally, I know that I have the research skills and experience. I can do research if I want to, even if I might have to deal with a certain amount of flak from my MD and PhD peers.

DO-to-be's, including myself, are in no way less smart than MD-to-be counterparts, and I know that I certainly have more life experience than most kids that are fresh out of undergrad.

I guess the point of this rambling comment is for other people in my situation (I know you're out there) who stumble upon this page during a neurotic Google search to know that you're not alone. And we will succeed in becoming not just physicians, but great ones.

Hopefully, you'll get over your preconceived DO/MD notions quicker than I did. It's pointless.

Anonymous said...

I work with 3 DO's and 5 MD's in a Miami Hospitol ward. At lunch we tend to dicuss the DO MD thing at times and have come to the agreement that MD's are leaning more and more toward research and DO's are doing more and more of the Hands on Family and Internal medicine,AS THEIR NUMBERS GROW. The MD's around here say the DO's are great at pathology and Diagnosis. They are begining to work together like a football team with offense and defense, and the overlap on special teams. There are great Doctors out there today with MD and DO after their names, and I have been lucky enough to work with both. I am a Therapist.

Anonymous said...

The only worry I have about pursuing the DO is how available slots on competitive areas of practice will be to me as a DO vs. MD. I don't want to do IM or FP, I TINK I would enjoy gas, rads, or possibly derm. I know it's POSSIBLE to get a slot as a DO and I understand that DO's can pursue DO slots and MD slots as where MD's don't have that liberty. Im still worried due to the preconceived notion, no matter how false, that DO's aren't as good as MD's.

fernkitty said...

When I was young,I had only used an M.D. He was a man that had made the decision to go to med school in his late 30's & specialize in OB/GYN. He was awesome and philosophically we meshed. He was holistic before it became all the rage, and he was married to a midwife. My first experience with a D.O. was at a city clinic when I was an adult with kids, in grad school. I was doing my student teaching and had been sick for months on end. With no energy left to enjoy my own children, I just wanted to feel better. The D.O's that treated me were wonderful. They took a lot a time to talk to me, sympathize and figure out how to make me feel better. They too, were holistic, kind, gentle. I've only used D.O.'s since.

So, the point is this: it's really more about the individual when it comes to M.D.'s. Some will be cold and clinical. Others, like my doctor from long ago, are coming at it from a more gentle perspective. D.O.'s seem to have that gentleness built into their training. In the end, it's your personality that will shine through. If you truly want to be a physician, find the program that's best suited to YOU and your needs (and will accept you of course). and stop worrying about the letters after your name. When someone is sick or injured, suffering and in pain, I doubt they are worried about where you went to school. Be the best doctor you can be, proud of your accomplishments and the fact that you want to help those in need.

And btw, to the other I'm over 40, not a hippie and extremely well educated.

Anonymous said...

I never really knew the difference between an MD and a DO until recently, but the bottom line is going to be the person with the extra letters, not which letters they are. The best family practice doctor we have had in 25 or so years has been a DO, and we put up with a horrid office staff and appointment scheduling nightmares to get in to see him.

Anonymous said...

As a paremedic in New Jersey and a soon-to-be med student I have to say that this DO/MD debate is extremely immature. As it has been said before me, who cares what two letters come after your name as long as you know what your doing and treat your patients well. If we were all to stop bickering at eachother and MD's and DO'S could really get along, we would be able to do so much more to improve medicine as we know it. I have seen both DO's and MD's in the ER's, trauma centers, and up on the floors that do amazing work.

-NJ Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic

Forrow Blogginum said...

I just got to know about the abbr. 'DO' last Sunday and today I am researching it for the first time.

Great blog to stumble upon, not for its main article, but for the comments.

Ever since I was a kid I've always wanted to become a doctor. Back in India, the degree was MBBS, and the same hype here is termed 'MD.'

That was my knowledge of it until last Sunday. Then I heard the two letters DO which reminded me of Dentists and I thought "huh, who's even heard of such a thing as DOs?"

But truly speaking, now that I've read a little about DOs, I finally figure that this is the kind of training I always wanted to have (Ayurvedic, anyone?). And there are many other points to enlist which I've come to like about DOs, but in regards to the "debate," so to speak, I think it depends on the individual (apart from the patients, as someone mentioned). Take the practice you find that suits your needs and that which you find to be "your style."

There hardly are any statistics available out there which suggest one degree outdoing the other. So why not just pursue you find to be the best rather than "seeing" and "reading" on blogs (which is what I did) about whom people find to be the best.

If you're seriously working towards an additional title to your name that shines ka-ching, I'd guess you're in the wrong profession to start with.

That said, I find the DO's way of getting educated far more intriguing, which, nevertheless, does not counter my feeling towards MDs. Both are really good (although I've never had the opportunity to meet either) if you find the right doctor who works for the patients rather than themselves.

Lastly, I think it's worth mentioning what some other blogger commented. "...but the bottom line is going to be the person with the extra letters, not which letters they are." Simply an MD or a DO not enough, isn't it?

(Myself, premed).

Anonymous said...

I am a paramedic who is currently getting my bachelors in biological sciences and i fully plan on attending a D.O school. In my experiences M.D.s and D.O.s are the same, but D.O.s do have something else about them and I can't figure it out, however most of the nurses and P.A.s I interact with on a daily basis say that they would rather work with a D.O over an M.D. any day due to there beliefs, and on top of that I know a lot of people who run and teach for D.O. schools, and I have to say I appreciate the fact that their schools look at the person not the grades. Which in the end is what matters, I have seen some horrible doctors of both practices in my time but predominately, the D.O.s have a better understanding of whats going on with my patients and I see a D.O, in my personal opinion i just trust them more.

Anonymous said...

I am applying to some DO schools now. Anyone have suggestions on the top schools?

Anonymous said...

TCOM is the best. Our board scores are better than about 60% of MD school on the USMLE and the pass rate is 96%....sounds just like an MD school. Well it practically is as a matter of fact the school is considering adding an MD option so the DO and MD students will take all the same classes with the same professors at the exact same time. and the DO students will continue to take OMM with is about 4-6 hours gone from your week. Seems like the DO students have it harder (thats what she said). Either way to dispell some of the myths, The avg MCAT and GPA for TCOM students was not a 26 but a 30/3.7 yeah thats pretty consistent with MD schools. and for anyone that says MD is better I personally got a 34 MCAT and a 3.8 GPA and was accepted to multiple programs around the US including Vandy. I decided DO here cause this is my home town and tuition in TX is soooo cheap. So in 3 years when I put DO behind my name I suddenly dumber than the name crazy pre-med that went to the SGU b/c he scored a 28 on his MCAT or the person who scores a 23-24 on his mcat and becuase he is a URM he gets preference? I think not.

Either way Ill rock my boards probably get 240+ match into some resid you prick pre-med name crazy nerds wish you could have. You can call me stupid all you want, Tell me Im just a DO and I dont deserve the residency I got, W/e I got what I wanted and in the end its all about the work you put into it.

If your too hung up on initials after your name you will NEVER be a good doctor whether you are MD or DO.

Anonymous said...

As a successful DO allergist I can tell you I scored much higher than any MD on all my USMLE step 1,2,3 and IM boards and allergy boards. Overall, does board scores matter? No, its about the physician and their clinical competence. So MDs who don't think DOs are up to par.. you are so wrong. In fact most of my patients who have a complaint have one about an MD.
Thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

When a DO wins a Nobel Prize, let me know.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, too too bad most DOs weren't able to get into MD programs, which is why they went to DO schools!!! Not sure I'd want to go to a DO knowing that! I think the average person could get the MCAT average at DO school.

James Keel, DDS said...

Medical and Osteopathic doctors are so full of shit. Only when MDs mock Osteopaths do they become defensive. These are the same people who look down on other medical health care professionals like Optometrists or Dentists. Although we would like not to believe, there is a hierarchy even within the MD ranks.

Regards,
James Keel, DDS
Retired General Dentist

Anonymous said...

oh my god who the hell cares...the government sure as hell doesn't...just be a good doctor...

Anonymous said...

Check out a book called "On Call In Hell" written by CDR Richard Jadick, D.O. USNR. Jadick was a USMC battalion surgeon during the taking of Fallujah in Iraq. A lot of good people are still alive today because of his interventions and willingness to treat patients under fire.

Anonymous said...

Please take the MCAT as an "average person" and tell me what score you end up with. It's not the SAT or ACT.

Anonymous said...

I needed to see a spine specialist recently and will soon have spine surgery. When I learned this, I wanted the best known neurosurgeon in my area. I chose to see a surgeon I had seen 18 years earlier and didn't like him much. Bedside manner, not good, etc... I was asked by a friend "Why would you go to a doctor you don't like?" I said "Because he's the best at what he does". Isn't that what we should all care about? The ideal doctor for me is skilled and personable. But, guess what, my surgeon and I both matured over the years and get along wonderfully. Bet you wanna know...MD or DO?

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most inane arguments I have read in years, and wish I could retrieve the last 10 minutes of my life.

Here is what matters: The only statistic whereby the MD candidates outscore the DO candidates is the USMLE Step 1, and is a paltry 4%. USMLE step 2 pass rates are the same, and DO's OUTSCORE MD's in USMLE Step 3.

DO's are practicing in every specialty and are far more qualified than the Caribbean MD students. More succinctly, there are morons with all manner of letters behind their names and it would behoove all of you in the peanut gallery to judge people as individuals, not as groups.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of a daughter that is trying to get into medical school. So I am very interested to learn about the entire process including DO vs MDs. I have been looking at the mdapplicants.com forum. And there is a thing that I saw that really kills me.I can see that a lot of candidates with undegraduate degree in biology and other premed studies cannot get interviews to MD schools because their GPA is not high enough althjough it could be GPA from a very tough school. At the same time lot of candidates with degrees in history/humanities(???) from some state university or even Harvrad with high GPA can.
Excuse me? Compare studies in orgo 2 with humanities (whatever this means)?Compare biology degree with lower GPA from tough school with high GPA in social studies? I can't beleve this. So I really don't want to go to this kind of doctor even if he is an MD. The guy cheated from the beginning- he got a good GPA in an easy field, took biology classes in some kind of local community college not to spoil his overall GPA. I would rather see a DO who wnated to be a doctor from the beginning and dedicated his life to this.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine that represents all manner of medical personnel before a state licensing board once told me: "I've never met a dumber class of professional than your typical physician." This forum proves it!

To keep things in perspective, let's not forget that at the end of the day you have to attend what is essentially a trade school to pick up a DO/MD.

Attorneys are awarded Juris Doctorates in the US (LL.B's in many other countries) but you don't see us tripping all over ourselves to distinguish ourselves from foreign legal counsel (e.g. Australia) that most often do not possess the same level of education a US attorney possesses...by insisting we be called "Doctor."

My friends that have been insane enough to obtain JD/MD degrees have said law school was much more difficult on a cognitive level but med school was much more difficult physically. Personally I'd like to see a blend of ND and MD (kinda like a DO without the chiropractic witchcraft I suppose) where hard science types open up to the fact that there is still a lot about the human body and the universe in general that we may never fully understand.
Just a JD

Anonymous said...

I am a patient who is looking for help. I don't want a band-aid to cover my symptoms, I want a doctor who will find the cause of my issues. All the posts here remind me why I don't trust/believe any doctor can/will do such a thing.
Although you will all continue to get my money while I suffer more and more symptoms and a lower quality of life! Must be nice.

Anonymous said...

Democrats and Republicans- both Politicians
American League and National League both Major league baseball
Apple and PC- both computers
MDs and DOs- both physicians and surgeons
Hatfields and MCoys- both Hillbillies
Capulets and Montagues- both rich
Muslims and Jews- both pray to the same God

That's what makes this country and Humanity great; the differences- albeit never as true as the similarities.

Anonymous said...

Old post, but why not add to the comments :D

First, to dispel a few myths, the idea that DOs are less qualified is utter garbage. They go threw a licensing process just as rigorous as their MD counterparts. Second, the idea that MDs are colder and don't treat the whole patient is equally moronic because I can attest to my MD program putting great focus on treating the whole patient in our clinicals. Third,the idea that DOs are MDs but more because of OMM is misleading considering that a very small percentage of DOs actually use OMM, because to truly master OMM one must continually practice its use for years (that is DO students won't be able to use it effectively), and because MDs can choose to be trained in it post medical school.

Anyways, as far as the real differences go, there are only two significant ones (besides constantly having to explain what a DO is and dealing with arrogant MDs anyways):

1. Many nations simply do not recognize it as a medical degree.

2. Even if a DO student does well on their step 1, they will still have to fight an uphill battle to attain an competitive ACGME (MD) residency - a problem which will get worse. Though it is possible for an osteopathic student to get into one of these residencies, and they do get in, there is a tangible disadvantage for them. This problem will only get worse because there are new MD and DO schools opening, while old schools are increasing their numbers, all the while the federal government hasn't allowed for increases in the number of residencies. First IMG students will be cut out of ACGME residencies, followed by DOs, as MDs fill all of the excess spots. The end result will be in far fewer specialty options for DO students.

Anonymous said...

i just had to work insane hours to afford school, so my grades and mcat were a little lower. i went to DO school, rocked everything because i used loans during med school, and pursued general surgery! people think that high mcat and gpa means a ton, but i think that a lot of smart people just didn't have the opportunity for a typical premed application for MD schools!

daxman said...

Its real life application that matters. As I understand it the curriculum is virtually the same, except for the OMM time for DO. Its applying your knowledge to real life situations that make you a better doctor. Its about knowing your patient. Its about finding answers. A person comes with a problem and your fix it. As long as you are giving the high quality results, I don't care what you are, DO or MD.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of searching for a new PCP. I recently went to a new Dr's appointment thinking I was going to see a M.D. but unbeknowst to me, they had scheduled me to see a Naturopathic Doctor. When I mentioned it to my rheumatologist he said "oh no, you need a D.O. or an M.D. At the miniumun, you need an M.D." Based on that comment, I assume he p-r-e-f-e-r-s I get a D.O. My long-time Dr. who has retired is an M.D. who ended up getting trained as a D.O. as well. I love and miss you Dr. LeMaster!

Anonymous said...

To me, the whole argument favoring M.D.s over D.O.s falls to pieces because of who can become a M.D. in the U.S. Those here who have touted the MCAT and GPA scores of M.D.s vs. D.O.s have forgotten thing...
and that's the Caribbean. Caribbean trained doctors are given the title M.D., and not D.O. So, guess who goes to the Caribbean? U.S. students who can't get in U.S. medical schools. They certainly don't go for the tan. This reality defeats the M.D. argument in one-felled swoop. So please, stop the D.O. bashing until the U.S. stops handing out the degree title M.D. to people who have to train at a foreign site because they couldn't get in a U.S. Med School OR, in many cases, a U.S. D.O school!
To my fellow D.O. supporters. Remember the word, "Caribbean" the next time you meet an ignorant M.D. snob. It should shut them up immediately.

Anonymous said...

NOT ALL DO ARE LOW SCORING AS SOME MIGHT SUGGEST, WITH THE WAY THE SYSTEM IS SET UP WITH CERTIAN QUOTAS THAT NEED TO BE MET NOT ALL MD OUT SCORE DO ON MCATS OR GPA IF YOU GO TO A SECOND TEIR COLLEGE AND SCORE A 4 PT ON YOUR GPA OR GO TO A TEIR ONE SCHOOL AND SCORE A 3.6 WHO GETS THE NOD OR IF YOU ARE THE WRONG RACE THAT ALSO PLAYS IN THE GAME IT IS NOT ALWAYS WHO IS THE BEST PERSON FOR THE MD SCHOOL LIKE THEY WOULD LIKE YOU TO BELIEVE