osteopathic medicine, Uncategorized

Cheers to the Student DOctors You Think You’ve Never Heard of

VCOM Auburn Inaugural Class of 2019


Is that even a “real” doctor?

Did you really just ask me that (and you’re going into healthcare, cute)?

Coming from the perspective of a second year occupational therapy student in a profession in which even some of my dearest to my heart friends and family members or realistically like 70% of the population don’t know what OT actually is   (no, sorry fam my profession’s end goal isn’t about securing people jobs… well we can definitely enhance your potential life skills to help you get a job but that is like one tiny piece of a 10,000 piece puzzle), I know how it feels to be so passionate about a career so evidence-based yet so unheard of or perhaps not as well-respected.

Thus, I want to start this blog as an insightful post to explore why we should >>>>>>>>>>> all be mOTivated to DO<<<<<<< whatever we feel compelled (within reason of course) to DO to spread awareness of the things we are passionate about.  For me, in this moment, it is to share with others my perception of the doctors that truly D.O.


What occupations fill your day? If you could change them, would you?

Then DO something about it.


If I have learned anything over and over again in OT school it is that the context of each situation serves a different purpose and includes unique underlying factors specific to each individual client. In my case, my typical context involves coffee shops, the Marx library, the swamp (running is a meaningful occupation for me on most days), Sacred Heart Church, the Allied Health Building, another coffee shop, or if we want to talk in OT areas of practice terms–a mixture of ADLs, IADLs, a lot of education and at times not enough leisure. More detail as to what an ADL will be discussed later perhaps in a future post. The point I’m trying to make is that until you are personally involved in a particular context, you cannot adequately relate to the situation… until, that is, a patient or individual offers insight in hopes you can for a moment see through their eyes.


For ex. —>  Before he began the application process, I was attracted to his work ethic and how fulfilled he seemed after a day of shadowing. Before he took the dreaded MCAT, I had no idea of the complexity of such a test and how one little test could determine so much and yet so little of a pre-med student at the same time. Before he began practicing and preparing for interviews, I did not previously know there are two different kinds of licensed physicians in the U.S.

  1. Allopathic : Medical Doctor or M. D.
  2. Osteopathic : Doctor of Osteopathy or D.O.

    OT + DO = holistic dreamteam

Before VCOM Auburn, I had little to no knowledge about the extra 300+ hours a D.O. student spends learning about how the musculoskeletal  system is integrated into the plan of care. I definitely was unaware of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) which is unique to osteopathic schools’ curriculum. Before he became immersed with medical school, I had no idea about the magnitude of what this context represents and consumes of his life ( and hopefully on a relatively soon timetable will consume both of our lives (; ). Before I placed myself in his shoes (his context) I was not able to understand the benefits this approach has to offer its patients.

While I admit to being biased in favor of the Osteopathic route, it is not because I love a first year VCOM student. Yes, that is where my impulsive intent to advocate and educate came from, but my reasons go further than supporting my boyfriend’s aspirations and studies.

Rather, I personally perceive the founding principles of Osteopathic medicine as more HOLISTIC. Also the thought of preventative care as opposed to corrective care just really piques my therapist in the making’s attention.

Whereas there has been a sort of negative stigma toward D.O.’s, if you look at what the American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association has to say then you will find a more neutral opinion. While M.D. students and D.O. students are trained from a different perspective, at the end of the day the client or patient or whoever is receiving treatment will probably care more about the quality of the treatment provided rather than two letters behind a last name. The majority of patients see the white coat and they correlate that to you being very smart and knowledgeable of all things medically related even if your specialty does not necessarily encompass that area of practice.

At some point my next post will expand on what it is that doctors of osteopathy do and how they compare to medical doctors. I hope that I have sparked some curiosity in at least one person to broaden their mindsets.

For now here are 5 things to ponder.

  1. What are the mission statements of both M.D.’s and D.O.’s?
  2. What does their curriculum mantra consist of? Types of boards? Residencies or fellowship opportunities?
  3. How long has each been existing and what are the suggested growth patterns?
  4. Why do people generally perceive primary care doctors as only “family docs”? Did you know that primary care does not only pertain to family physicians?
  5. What is your personality style and type?

Lastly, I close with his life verse that has kept him mOTivated through his most stressful times and trials so far(and the many more to come2 blocks of med school down at least) by looking to the Lord to pursue the calling he has received.

“As a prisoner for the Lord,

then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”

{     Ephesians    4  :  1     }

 Stay mOTivated,


______________________________________________________ ***note: I am simply trying to raise awareness about this profession. I am very thankful for my two orthopedic surgeons (who were both fantastic M.D.s) that have previously operated successfully on both of my not so pretty knees. I look forward to working with M.D.s and D.O.s in the future in order to carry out their occupational therapy referral orders***


4 thoughts on “Cheers to the Student DOctors You Think You’ve Never Heard of”

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