MSHQ 026 : 6 Myths of Osteopathic Medical School

Session 26

In today's episode, Ryan talks with Patrick and Jonathan, both 3rd year DO medical students at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. They wrote A Brief Guide to Osteopathic Medicine – For Students, By Students, which is published on AACOM. They wrote this guide to provide valuable information about osteopathic medicine, about what it is, and the different myths of osteopathic medicine that are currently circulating around, which they will discuss on the show today.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Jonathan and Patrick:

Jonathan's path to medicine:

  • Applying to both MD and DO schools
  • Choosing the schools to apply to based on location and price

Patrick's path to medicine:

  • Majoring in microbiology
  • Applying to both MD and DO schools
  • Doing a dual degree in MD/MPH

Reactions among friends and families about going to osteopathic medical school:

  • Jonathan's family recommending he go to medical school overseas or wait a year
  • Patrick's family was supportive

Reasons for writing the guide:

To be a tangible, accessible, user-friendly resource to educate people about what DO is and osteopathic medical school in general after seeing the gap they've experienced

Resources they used to help them with the application:

  • Patrick getting help from his sister (already in medical school)
  • Friends
  • SDN forums
  • Premedical fraternities

Their experience with SDN:

  • Getting into the forums related to the medical field
  • A diversity that its greatest strength becomes its greatest weakness
  • Coming with a lot of misinformation, rumors, and myths especially about the DO profession
  • A lot of putting down and animosity because of the anonymity (people hiding behind their nicknames)

The negative mentality about DO schools:

The DO schools as second choice

What makes the DO different from MD schools:

  • OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy)
  • Philosophical distinction

*But there is an overlap between MD and DO

The 6 Myths of Osteopathic Medicine:

  1. DOs are not real doctors.
  2. DOs have limited practice rights.
  3. Osteopathic medicine is a drugless form of medicine.
  4. DOs are similar to chiropractors.
  5. DOs are just doctors who couldn’t get into MD schools.
  6. “Osteopaths” are the same thing as “osteopathic physicians.”

Having a DO degree in the first place?

  • A push to change the degree name in 2010 to MD/DO
  • Ryan's opinion is for DO sticking to primary care specialty while Patrick respectfully disagreeing with it
  • Jonathan says compartmentalizing each aspect of medicine id difficult because it's necessary to integrate everything

Being an MD wanting to learn OMM:

  • Schools like Harvard have integrated medicine course that teaches OMM to MDs
  • OMM is not meant to be the best kept secret of medicine

Merging MD and DO residency programs for dual accreditation:

All residency programs being held to the same standard

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

Just by adding a little force here and there, keeping certain parts of the body in certain position, you can actually change someone's physiology, pain, range of motion, and local functioning. That's how powerful the body's self-healing capability is. One of the tenets of osteopathic philosophy is that the body heals itself.

Education is key. Make an informed decision for yourself.

Links and Other Resources:

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

California of Family Practitioners

Brief Guide to Osteopathic Medicine

Student Doctor Network Forums

ATSU KCOM Interview

Name Change Push of DO to MD, DO

Harvard Medical School OMT Course – As of 2016-03-25 – It doesn't look like this course is offered

Patrick also gave us a list of other OMT courses:

Training Opportunities in Physical Medicine

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