Talk:Osteopathic medicine in the United States/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Article Critique

  • The tone and prose of the introductory portions of this article has been slightly modified, with the addition of new material and reorganization of some links (16 March 2006)

The tone and prose of this article are pretty bad. Somebody with more knowledge of this subject should have a look at it. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ | Esperanza 20:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

  • The article sounds very much like promotional material in tone and content IMO. Also, there should be much more discussing scientific evidence (or lack thereof!) regarding osteopathic techniques. Right now there is only one sentence with an afterthought reference to this. -- Ithacagorges 14:27, 15 January 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree that this article sounds like a sales pitch. No criticism whatsoever. ( 07:54, 15 May 2006 (UTC))
    • There is no real evidence supporting cranial, cranio-sacral, and visceral manipulation, and that is now in the article. --JohnDO|Speak your mind 07:43, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
      • There is a great deal of evidence supporting the underlying philosophy of Cranial Osteopathy. I am in the process of editing an article on this subject, even though there have been a number of articles in the past, dealing with this topic. In general, the section on Cranial Osteopathy (actually called 'osteopathy in the cranial field') is hopelessly outdated and contains a number of misconceptions and incorrect facts. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ericdo (talkcontribs) .
        • As long as this evidence is (like with other alternative medicine) widely disputed (or of substandard quality), I fail to see the relevance of your statement. ( 07:54, 15 May 2006 (UTC))
  • I feel my comment of 15 January still applies. Almost no criticism about many practices which are on shaky ground in terms of scientific evidence of their effectiveness. --Ithacagorges 20:00, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Article move

  • I just read the article "The Paradox of Osteopathy" in the NEJM. Since it wasn't critical of osteopathy, I moved it to the other list. The article just described the similarity of allopathic and osteopathic medicine, touched on the California merger, and discussed the increase of numbers of osteopathic schools. The "paradox" in the article is the similarity yet separateness of osteopathic medicine.
  • The "quackwatch" article is a little silly, but I suppose it is hard to come up with legitimate critical articles. For the sake of neutrality it is important to show both sides of the argument, but I wonder if we could find something a little more substantial (and supported) than this dubious quackwatch stuff.Donaldal 07:25, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Somebody keeps moving the Paradox of Ostopathy into a "critical" category. I read the was erroniously included as criticism. The article is supportive, and points out the paradox of osteopathic medicine's similarity to yet separateness from allopathic medicine.Donaldal 17:37, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


Osteopathic medicine is a branch of medicine that encompasses all clinical specialties from family practice to neurosurgery. If not in the top level medicine category, where? It doesn't just belong in alternative. Please discuss.--DocJohnny 23:48, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Osteopathic medicine is a distinct type of medicine compared with conventional medicine because it's based on joint manipulation; this is why the move to merge osteopathy and conventional medicine is contested. It was a type of alternative medicine when it was created, and evolved to become very similar to conventional medicine, but it's not conventional, yet. Hopefully some others have opinions on this. --CDN99 00:57, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree it is not completely conventional. But it is a subtype of medicine that includes primarily conventional medicine with some elements of alternative. Most D.O.'s practice mostly conventional medicine. As such, I don't think it belongs in the alternative subcategory at least as it is practiced here in the states. --DocJohnny 01:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
It almost deserves its own category, because it draws from conventional and alternative medicine, but then it would have to have its own version of every medical article...But my belief is that there is only mainstream medicine, and then there's alternative medicine, which encompasses everything else. --CDN99 01:23, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I see your point. But alternative medicine is a category under medicine. And I don't see osteopathic medicine really belonging just under alternative medicine. This is why I think it belongs in the medicine category. --DocJohnny 01:33, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Let me tell you, for all intents and purposes D.O.'s are conventional physicians which happen to go to(osteopathic) medical schools which focus on primary care. For the GRAND majority of practicing DO's the lone difference may just be philosophy of medicine(primary care), and even then its up to the individual physician do practice what he has been taught(as can be applied to MD's as well). Today, DO are are no more nor less conventional/unconventional than allopaths/MD's. While osteopathic manipulation is taught as an additional class in DO schools , many allopathic schools also teach eastern medicine or alternative medicine as electives. Fact, whether an MD or a DO what you really are is what you specialized, neurosurgeon, cardiologist, general surgeon, pulmonologist, Family practitioner or Internist, etc. For that matter I can make this precise analogy: a Cardiovascular Surgeon D.O. is generally much more "conventional" than a general practitioner M.D. utilizing alternative therapies (there are trained "allopaths" that actually practice homeopathy" an accepted practice in U.S. medicine). Additionally, one can say all D.O. and M.D. Internal Medicine doctors(Internist) are equally conventional. So yes, for probably about 99%(if not more) of graduating DO's, their scope of practice is as conventional as any MD(with a primary care twist), the lone exception being those very few D.O. that specialize and restrict their practice to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine- OMM. But, then again. we have MD's practicing homepathy and other alternative theraputic modalities- surely at even higher numbers as there are much more MD's graduating every year compared to DO's. Micael 05:40, 24 February 2006 (UTC).

U.S.-trained D.O.s are legally equivalent to U.S.-trained M.D.s. Clearly, D.O. neurosurgeons are hardly practitioners of alternative medicine. Because the manipulative medicine specialists are a small, specialized subset of the larger profession, their existence hardly justifies the somewhat misleading categorization of all D.O.s as practitioners of alternative medicine.

stub template

So far I have created the Criticism section and have been the only editor to add content to it. As no one else has been adding content, I would like to remove the stub template. I have added all of the substantive (IMO) complaints in Dr. Barrett's article "Dubious Aspects of Osteopathy" in what I hope is an even NPOV manner. I have thus now removed the stub template. If anyone disagrees, I think directly adding to the section is a better choice. --JohnDO|Speak your mind 11:43, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Yeah...I think it looks fine now. Donaldal 20:46, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that the introduction needs to modifed to reflect the notion that osteopathic medicine is really a *social movement* in medicine as defined by Gevitz. It encompasses a set of values, ideas, and worldviews toward patient patient care. To practice "osteopathically" means to practice in accordance with these worldviews. Hence, it is possible for allopathic physician to practice osteopathic medicine (and many indeed do).

Osteopathic Medicine does not belong in the Alternative category. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine might belong there for now, but that is a tool the Osteopathic Physician uses. An Allopathic physician (MD)can be trained in the techniques and use them by undertaking the fellowship training. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aphelion27 (talkcontribs)

References to "allopathic" medicine

"Osteopathic medical schools have been criticized for being less focused on research than allopathic schools. Critics also have pointed towards one study showing slightly lower GPA and MCAT scores among enrollees when compared to allopathic schools."

Shouldn't the phrase "allopathic medicine" be used only in opposition to homeopathy (which is not the topic of this article)? In this article, "allopathic medicine" actually means "medicine which does not include osteopathic practices". Apokrif 12:39, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

The AAMC (The Association of American Medical Colleges), the AMA (the American Medical Assocation), and the ACGME (the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education) all define MD-granting medical schools as allopathic. References can be found at the bottom of the allopathic medicine article. The General MedicaI Council in the UK uses it the same way. It is true that the term "allopathic" was coined by Hahnemann and that he meant it as the opposite of homeopathic. However, the term has become adopted by all of the main MD organizations in the US and is used similarly in other countries as well. In this article, the comparison is specifically with allopathic schools in the sense of the term that the allopathic schools and accrediting bodies themselves use it.Donaldal 03:02, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

--- Allopathic in this article refers to schools which grant the degree of M.D. This is to differentiate the two unrestricted physician degrees granted in the United States (DO, MD). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aphelion27 (talkcontribs)


Consequently, D.O.'s were once viewed by many as those who "couldn't get into a real medical school." This has changed over the years and are currently viewed with comparable prestige as M.D.'s.

Is there a source for this statement? (notice that the old version said "by many", while the last version implies that everybody gives the same consideration to MDs and DOs) Apokrif 11:43, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I think any mention of prestige or social status is rediculous. They don't need to try to look as prestigious doctors because they ARE doctors.Donaldal 16:01, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Apokrif is quite right. This line should go. This kind of insecurity is exactly the kind of thing we need to chop out of this article. Donaldal 04:54, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

I think they mean as prestigious as MDs. Although some students may choose to go to DO over MD school, the fact remains that for many it is because they cannont gain acceptance into MD schools that they go to DO schools.

This last statement above does not say much. As there are some MD that go to foreign MD granting schools, because they could not get into an Allopathic(MD) or an Osteopathic US medical school. This very significant as Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG) make up a large portion of the MD physician population.

Overall, I agree with Donaldal's statement. This "prestege" issue is a non-issue. It is immature and says very little to even mention it. There are many individually "prestegious" physicians, regardless of where they graduated and type of medical school, whether domestic MD, foreign MD, or DO granting.

Additionally, I have noticed that those that studied medicine because of the "prestege" factor, generally make poorer physicians. Comprising most of the "angry" or frustrated physicians. As there are many easier ways to gain prestege than sacrificing many years, time, and money to find out that medicine is not held to the prestege it once held generations back.Micael 17:04, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Major reform

This article has continued to become more and more complicated while becoming less and less informative. I think we have some real work to do. Specifically, here are a few suggestions:

  • Retitle the article to "Osteopathic medicine in the US". Nearly every section is centered on the US with the disclaimer that everything mentioned is defferent everywhere else. This is silly. If we just allowed this article to be US-focused, could write another article entitled "Traditional osteopathy" which could deal with the purely OMM style practice found elsewhere. This could be explained and linked in an introductory note on the US article.
  • Eliminate all of the "we are as good/prestigious as MD" arguments. DOs don't have to apologize or justify. It just looks insecure and illigitimate.
  • Eliminate all of the propaganda. This is not the place for sales pitches. Just describing the profession is the greatest form of its promotion.
  • More history/context/future could be included
  • The article is a little OMM/philosophy heavy. On one hand we keep throwing out this "we are just like MD's" argument while on the other hand we throw out all of this "we are special" stuff. The "DOs treat patients, not just symptoms" attitude is silly and dated. It adds fuel to the (nearly) dead tension between MDs and DOs. We need to cut this kind of propoganda.
  • Thoughts?Donaldal 06:49, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Donaldal has some valid points here. Osteopathy in the U.S. is different to anywhere else.
My thoughts are that OMM is only practised in the U.S. - elsewhere D.Os are osteopaths, not doctors, and the phrase 'OMM' is an American term, not used anywhere else, as everything that non-U.S. osteopaths do is osteopathy (apart from the small number of M.Ds in the UK who do a postgrad in osteopathy). Therefore have one entry called Osteopathic medicine and one called Osteopathy, each referring to the other, maybe even a disambiguation page:
  • the Osteopathic medicine entry can deal only with osteopathy in the US (the current entry is very US-centred) and the history of Osteopathy as originating/developing from the U.S. and maintain the 'equality with M.Ds' principle in a less defensive manner.
  • the Osteopathy entry can deal with pure osteopathic principles, and osteopathy as practised worldwide outside the US without prescribing rights or surgery.
This would avoid the confusion from statements like Osteopaths educated in countries outside of the U.S. do not follow the same curriculum as U.S. trained D.O.s and are referred to as "non-physician osteopaths" - this is only the case in the U.S. - in most other countries osteopaths are generally called 'osteopaths' (although a few call themselves 'osteopathic physicians', but that's another story...).
Also how about some actual references for the statements by AT Still? - that would make the article more professional and in line with other medical articles. apers0n 19:01, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The move back to osteopathy has been started, please see the To Do list to clean up the remaining article apers0n 16:54, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Major revisions

I've made some major revisions to the article and tried to separate its content from the osteopathy article and focused on the relationship between standard allopathic medicine in the USA and osteopathic medicine. This seems to be the most confusing point to understand for most people. As such, I think that the topic deserves to remain separate from the main osteopathy article. --Oskie94 18:54, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

After the recent additions surely this article now deserves to be part of the Template:Medicine ? --apers0n 07:48, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

No criticism section?

Why no criticism section? Mathiastck 14:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


Replaced old photograph with new one. Would appreciate assistance in locating copyright status. Also added osteopathc logo of stylized caduceus.--Oskie94 05:37, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Another uncopyrighted image has been removed - which photographer took these photos? --apers0n 09:53, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Alternative medical systems template

I've removed the Template:Alternative medical systems as Osteopathic medicine is not listed here as a medical system. In Glossary of alternative medicine, Osteopathy is listed, but the article on Osteopathic medicine shows these are different. --apers0n 07:24, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Good catch. I have now wikilinked the disambiguation page to emphasize the alternative medicine nature of osteopathy, as practiced by non-USA practitioners. We also know that old fashioned and quackish osteopaths (like Mercola) in the USA fit in that category, but I'm not sure how to handle that issue here. I guess we just need to make sure the wikilinks on relevant articles go to the right article. BTW, are there other osteopathy-relevant articles to place in the osteopathy category I started? -- Fyslee 08:45, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Current Meaning of the Term, what it actually refers to

I've clipped a discussion from the Talk:Allopathic medicine page. I think these two articles are linked in an inseperable way. Perhaps both could be aided by the creation of a third article, dealing specifically with the history relationship/controversy between DO's&MD's, AOA&AMA, AACOM&AAMC, etc. That might enable this article to be less burden with responsiblity of explaining the history&controversy of Osteopathic Medicine in the US (the actual subject of this article) as well as what Osteopathic Medicine means today, in modern US - though these two are obviously interrelated.

I'd like to emphasize the importance of clarfying that this article seems to be about "Osteopathic medicine in the US." The article needs to clarify what the term actually means today, in a way that can be verified/documented. A big job, no doubt.

Main points:

  • The word allopathic medicine has an "everyday," current usage. The main function the term serves is to differentiate between osteopathic and non-osteopathic medical schools/degrees/practices. The only context in which the term is regularly used is in a discussion of osteopathic medical schools, osteopathic associations, etc. Outside of contexts where this differentiation is being made, the term is rarely used. Instead, one would simply say "medicine" or perhaps "conventional medicine" - though the term "conventional" medicine also has unintended connotations. Other possible terms to consider are "clinical medicine" or "evidence-based" medicine. Unfortunely, none of these terms comes close to the same functional meaning as "allopathic medicine." Further, none of these terms as satisfactory since Osteopathic medical schools now teach the same traditional, conventional, evidence-based medicine as allopathic schools.
  • This modern, current usage carries no-negative connotation. It simply serves a function. The main evidence I think of that supports this several organizations which represent the type of medicine to which the term refers, use is to describe themselves, as User: XKL noted.
  • The word has an original usage which carried a perjorative message. This is part of the term history. This should be noted.

Questions/Problems, input requested.

  • To propery address the controvery surrounding the term allopathic requires a discussion of the history of the conflictling schools of medicine; without this context the discussion is incomplete. This is especially important since the term took on new significance during each historical period: (please amend w/ suggestions as you see fit)
    • 19th century America - osteopathy, homeopathy, allopathy - conflicts over the basic model of medical therapy. Advent of clinical medicine which osteopathy and allopathy embrace while homeopathy rejects.
    • 20th century America - osteopathy v allopathy - conflicts over licensure, practice rights, accredidation. California in ’68: AOA v AMA, etc. The advent of "evidence-based" medicine.
    • 21st century America - osteopathy and allopathy differences blur. The advent of "alternative medicine" and "complementary medicine" further changes the meaning of both terms.
  • A second major problem is the regional issue. As far as I know, the term "allopathic" is only commonly used in the United States. Add to this the fact that "Osteopathy" and "Osteopathic medicine" means something entirely different in all of the non-US world. Needs to be addressed.
  • ”Osteopathic medicine" the branch of medicine which "allopathic" seems to exist to differntiate from, also has a questionable meaning. Today, all Osteopathic medical schools embrace clinical, evidence-based, conventional medicine. Osteopathic medical students take the same national exams (MCAT, USMLE) and are the vast majoity are trained in allopathic resident training programs. The majority of Osteopathic physicians in America do not practice any form of Osteopathic manipulation. Does this suggest that Osteopathic medicine includes all of allopathic medicine but adds the option of manipulation? Where does that leave the term allopathic?

In my experience (I attend as Osteopathic medical school), the cirricula of osteopathic and allopathic medical schools are functionally identical, the one exception to this being the additional material on "Osteopathic medical theory and manipulation." But this is additional material, not given at the expense of conventional medicine. This still leaves the question of what actually is the difference, and what does the term allopath even mean, other than non-Osteopathic.

Suggestions in the search for a statisfying, accurate approximation of term's funtional meaning

  • Emphasizing the fact that a greater percentage of US osteopaths go into primary care, while a greater percentage of allopaths go into a specialty medical field.
  • Emphasizing that Osteopathic/Allopathic refers to two education routes with same destination, professional "licensure" as a medical doctor. Compare to other circumstances where two similar, yet distinct degrees lead to same licensure, i.e. PsyD and a PhD can lead to a license in psychology.
  • Somehow addressing the difficult to document, yet somehow intuitively-important notion that osteopathic/allopathic refers to the perception of an "attitude" or an openess towards alternative/complementary medical practices. Osteopaths being open to non-evidence based therapies, in addition to conventional ones. The perception that allopaths are less-so.
  • Somehow address that there is a slow, but clear convergence in all remaining differnces between the two previously disimilar branches of medicine. Cite examples of allopathic institutions (Harvard medical school) teaching Osteopathic principles/manipulation. More than anything, the over-emphasis on the controversial nature of the term allpathic obscures this important trend. The meaning of the term allopath is clearly in flux. One might say it is becoming less meaningful, or more limited. User: OsteopathicFreak 24 May 2007

MCAT scores

I am concerned about the criticism that DO students tend to have lower MCAT scores that MD students. While this may be true - and perhaps even evidenced by the two diagrams provided as references - this conclusion seems to be drawn from original research. It would be better to first document that this criticsm exists notably by providing a source which outright criticizes DOs for tending to have lower MCAT scores than MDs. Otherwise, as it was stated, we are in effect creating this criticism. Even if we can back up the criticism with two charts, without a source which critically states this comparison, we are in effect creating original content and thus violating WP:OR. Make sense? In light of this, I have removed the statement for the time being. Please feel free to re-include it with a reliable source which presents this criticism expressly. Thanks! -- Levine2112 discuss 06:08, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

There are at least two ways to solve this dilemma:
  1. Write those facts as they are, without mentioning criticism at all;
  2. Write a source, and this is one that can be used:
-- Fyslee/talk 08:35, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
The source you mention doesn't support the claim that on average DO students have lower MCAT scores than MDs. It says that the admission standards of the average DO program is lower than the admission standards of the average MD program. This seems to insinuate that therefore DO students tend to have lower MCAT scores than MD students, but itt doesn't outright say that. Another example of why Quackwatch itself is a dubious source of information; it tends to be deceptive and meant to trick the read. Definitely only use Quackwatch sources with great caution. -- Levine2112 discuss 17:49, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed that Quackwatch was addressing a different matter (which happens to be a noteworthy matter). My bad. It's not Quackwatch's fault that I didn't notice it was two different matters.
So there are actually two different differences - MCAT scores and admission standards. Interesting. Both could be mentioned without any mention of criticism. -- Fyslee/talk 19:32, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Which source is making the comparison between the MCAT scores of DO and MD students? The comparison between the admission standards seems like something better suited for the osteopathic schools article. In either case, it is a criticism; suggesting that DOs aren't as qualified because they tend to have lower MCAT scores than MDs. -- Levine2112 discuss 20:25, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Allow me to explain why this sentence is a violation of WP:SYN:

In terms of admissions, the average GPA and MCAT for osteopathic (DO) medical schools is lower than that of allopathic (MD) medical schools - GPA, 3.46 for osteopatic vs 3.64 for allopathic matriculants, and MCAT scores, an average of 24.6 for DO vs 30.4 for allopathic matriculants.

So we have two statisticss:

A. The average GPA and MCAT for admissions to DO school
B. The average GPA and MCAT for admissions to MD school

We have one comparison of the two stats:
C. Statistic A is lower than that of Statistic B

Now "A" and "B" each come from separate sources. No one is arguing the reliablity of the sources, however, neither source makes the comparison between their two separate and distinct stats. Thus, the comparison "C" is a synthesis conclusion created by editors here at Wikipedia.

This is precisely what WP:SYN prohibits:

Editors often make the mistake of thinking that if A is published by a reliable source, and B is published by a reliable source, then A and B can be joined together in an article to advance position C. However, this would be an example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position, and as such it would constitute original research.[2] "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published this argument in relation to the topic of the article.

So, as I have stated, either find a source which expressly states comparison "C", or else we can't include this content. -- Levine2112 discuss 06:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

You're joking - right? No, please don't answer that. This is unworthy of discussion. There is no complicated conclusion being synthesized, just plain logic. -- Fyslee/talk 07:49, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The "complication" of the conclusion is irrelevant. WP:SYN makes no exceptions for simple logical conclusions. In fact, I would think that the simple ones are the more dangerous in terms of fact distortion. But don't take my word for it; more from WP:SYN:
In other words, that precise analysis must have been published by a reliable source in relation to the topic before it can be published in Wikipedia.
The precise analysis; in our case this refers to the comparsion of the two stats. The test: Has this comparison been published by a reliable source. The answer: No. Not in any source presented here thus far. The solutions: Find a reliable source which expressly makes this comparison of the two stats - or - leave it out. -- Levine2112 discuss 07:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Please discuss why you feel this policy is silly here; rather than engaging in edit wars. -- Levine2112 discuss 21:50, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I have also put in a request for some third-party opinions at WT:NOR. -- Levine2112 discuss 21:54, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, if the logic really is simple and indisputable then there is no issue (though to be pedantic policy does not approve of "advancing a position" in this way, Levine2112 is not quite on the mark, and it is up for debate).
The trouble is that correlating statistics generally is not the simple logical process that it appears. It could be that the two sources use slightly different methods for deriving their statistics, who knows what exceptions might have been weeded out by one gatherer of statistics vs. another.
Forget about synthesis, the basic question is whether the point being made is controversial enough to be challenged, and if it is challenged can it be independently verified by looking at the sources and performing blatantly obvious maths or reasoning. I don't really believe in SYNTH as a special concept, what I do believe in is Darrell Huff: How To Lie With Statistics, so I am always very wary of whether a statistical correlation is as simple as it appears.
If you have further verification that the statistics are derived in exactly the same way, then you have the possibility of a simple deduction, without that, you would have to do significant (original) research to validate that the statistics were derived in exactly the same way, how exceptional situations were handled and so on. In other words, it may seem to be a trivial deduction, but can you be certain that it is? Spenny 22:42, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it is very clear how the statistics are derived. On the AACOM.ORG and AAMC.ORG websites, the applications to each respective medical school and how GPAs and MCAT scores are derived are clearly state. Moreover, the MCAT score is administered and scored by the AAMC. There is no abiguity in now the statistics are derived by the AAMC or AACOM. It is simply the scores as reported by the administrator of the MCAT. As for GPAs, there is a formula for calculation which is readily available on either the AAMC or AACOM websites. In terms of GPA, the AAMC has a more stringent GPA calculation which ostensibly would benefit those applying to Osteopathic schools. For example, Osteopathic applicants can include graduate GPAs (which tend to be higher) and do not have to average classes taken twice in undergrad. The only possible error in comparison would be that a direct comparison of the GPAs would UNDERESTIMATE the different between MD and DO GPAs. 23:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

If there is a difference in the way the numbers are derived then we can't include. However, I stand corrected on the simplicity of correlating two equivilent statistics. My fear here is though - as notes - these two sets of statistics are not equivilently derived; thus the violation of WP:SYN stands. -- Levine2112 discuss 23:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Responding to the WT:NOR comment: First, I don't think it doesn't belongs in the lead section. Second, I'm not sure why the comparison is being made at all, but I suppose I should look more carefully through the discussion here before making judgments about this. --Ronz 23:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Ronz, did you intend to use a double negative? Do you think it belongs in the lead paragraph? --Scott Alter 00:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Doh! Thanks. Why's it in the lead? --Ronz 19:00, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The only real problem with current content is the statement "the average GPA and MCAT for osteopathic (DO) medical schools is lower than that of allopathic (MD) medical schools". Even if this is true, the comparison cannot be made without verifiable sources. The difference may not even be statistically significant (although it most likely is, if the averages presented were calculated the same way). One resolution to this problem would be to only include the DO stats in this article. The MD stats should go in the M.D. article. If someone wants to compare admissions criteria for the two degrees, it could go in Medical education in the United States. Having the average GPA and MCAT scores side-by-side (maybe in a table), stating what they are and their sources, should not violate WP:SYN or WT:NOR. Maybe a disclaimer should state that the numbers are from different sources and should not be directly compared. The only way I see to be able to compare the scores would be to have stats on the MCAT from AAMC (the administers of the exam) broken down by students admitted to MD and DO programs. I do not know if this is possible, since I doubt the AAMC will know who is accepted to osteopathic schools. --Scott Alter 00:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

These seem like reasonable suggestions. -- Levine2112 discuss 00:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why it needs to be in the lead either, but the comparison should be made simply because more people are familiar with MDs than DOs and the differences between them are likely to be of interest to a large percentage of people that read this article. Also, I would like to make the point that the difference in GPA and MCAT scores is not a criticism of osteopathic medicine at all. All it says is that the scores of matriculants are generally lower and no inference about the quality of the schools can be made from this fact. The difference could be due to any number of reasons including osteopathic school not placing as high of a priority on those two factors. Nathanaver 00:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Definitely doesn't belong in the lead, and without some reliable source which makes this comparison expressly, it doesn't belong in the article at all. -- Levine2112 discuss 01:13, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The scores are reported by the AACOM and AAMC. I don't see how there is any argument over their validity or the ability to directly compare them. The reporting of scores to the AACOM and AAMC from the MCAT administrators is the same. There really isn't any wiggle room to adjust the MCAT averages. The total scores of the matriculated student is divided by the # of students. It is directly compareable.

As someone who has no idea what all these initials mean, the point I am suggesting is "Where did you get the knowledge that you have just said in that paragraph?" Without taking one side or another (I have no interest) you say the reporting of the scores is the same. Without knowledge of the system, I can't tell that; and then the simple production of an average always starts with the question of "which average do you mean?" In other words, you are seeing an obvious and straightforward mean of a well-defined source: that may well be the case and I may be arguing black is white. However, the sources stated do not contain definitions: they are simple tables. To prove the assertion that the statistics are derived on exactly the same basis, I would say you need more. Therefore, you really should have a further source to do the comparison. I know it sounds pedantic, and actually I know darn well that it is, but without knowing the mechanisms behind the derivation of statistics, it is very dangerous to make any assumptions. Further note, I would be concerned as the source for the data says that it is from questionnaires, which to me flags a warning: are the responses mandatory? What validations, corrections and adjustments have been applied?
In the UK, we do school comparisons, the statistics are derived in the same form. However, although you can make the bald statement that one school got a higher score, the context of that statement impacts on whether it is a safe statement to make. We know that so many factors affect the result, including some schools excluding children from exams (or even school) if they believe they will not pass, the wealth of the neighbourhood, the quality of the feeder schools and so on:the simple statement of school A scored more than B is loaded with connotations. Put another way, even when two statistics might be mathematically comparable, the statement of that simple logical assertion without qualification can be unsatisfactory. Getting back to Wiki policy, this is why there is the qualification of "to advance a position" is there: the simplest obvious statement that is logically correct can have implications.
I suspect, again as a neutral observer, that there is something similar here for a simple comparison to become controversial: that someone sees an agenda in someone making the observation which does not really have a context. Spenny 08:40, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Here is another source (Princeton Review) supporting the lower DO vs MD GPA & MCAT (but for the year 2002). Here is an article by Kaplan that shows that even with a list of MD schools vs a list of DO schools with the same average US News Primary Care Ranking:

  1. Composite DO MCAT scores are 2 points lower than composite MD MCAT scores
  2. Composite DO GPA is 0.15 point lower than composite MD MCAT scores
  3. These same DO schools get an average of 3.5 applicants per admitted student, while the MD schools get an average of 2.4 applicants per admission.

With great fortune, the neutral data can be said to "support" the different programs in different ways. While it is true that in the top-ranked US News Primary Care DO schools have lower GPA and MCAT scores than their MD counterparts, they also have more applicants per admitted student. The caveat is that this is a list of the top ranked US News Primary Care schools, which don't tend to be what are considered the "top" MD schools, and are less competitive than the top US News Research schools. Still, it's something.

Does this stuff have to be in the article anyway? Antelan talk 16:09, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

It sounds to me then that keeping this content in the article certainly does violate the principles of WP:SYN then. These two figure cannot be simply and directly compared without a great degree of original research. I am going to remove the content one more time. Please do not reinstate unless you can find a WP:RS which makes this comparison expressly, or it you find two sets of data that are directly comparable without requiring any WP:NOR violation. -- Levine2112 discuss 16:55, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Levine, the source I found does make the comparison directly. Since this debate will probably be had in the future, I want to offer another rationale to support your action since WP:SYN will probably not stand the test of time (especially as more sources become available). Strictly speaking, those comparisons of admissions info for MD & DO schools is not directly relevant enough to osteopathic medicine, the namesake of this article, to be published here. It would, on the other hand, be relevant to an admissions portion of a page on American medical education. Here, though? Not really. So I agree with your action, but I wanted to offer another explanation for people who might revisit this discussion later. Antelan talk 18:18, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the, Antelan. Your rationale makes perfect sense to me as well. -- Levine2112 discuss 19:21, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
It is also a rationale that the policy attempts to recognise in its slightly obscure wording: even if you can cite facts, there is the obscure phrasing in policy of "advancing a position." I think this is to recognise the problem that just because something is true does not make it appropriate to state. In this case, the context has not been given for making the observation: where is it going, why has it been put there. Clearly, the logical conclusion is that it is the basis for a negative comparison of this branch of medicine against another, and I think then it is appropriate to consider whether there has been an authoritative comparison made that can be cited. If there has, then there is the basis for the comparison (but even then is it appropriate to headline in here - no) if there has not, then for all the reasons that statistical comparisons are dangerous, then it should not be made. I think it is reasonable to make that extrapolation to the likely agenda to remove the comparison. Spenny 10:06, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

The paragraph had again been added back to the article by The GPA and MCAT scores are currently located in Medical school in the United States#Admissions. This is where the information is appropriate - not in an article about osteopathic medicine. --Scott Alter 15:49, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Osteopathic medicineDoctor of Osteopathic Medicine — To try and make the medical education articles parallel each other, I believe that this article should be renamed to Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (to match Doctor of Medicine). This article already mostly describes the DO degree, so the title would be appropriate. Criticisms that the article is US focused would be moot, as the DO degree is only offered in the US (as far as I know). Discussion of the differences between the education of MDs and DOs should be addressed mostly in Medical education in the United States. Information pertaining to the word osteopathy would be in the osteopathy article, which would link to the DO article. —Scott Alter 23:01, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.


Any additional comments:

Comment: What do you think about "osteopathic medicine" becoming a disambig, both pointing to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine article as you propose it and also to osteopathy, which would contain more than just US-centric information. Antelan talk 16:04, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Sounds perfect. I want to move allopathic medicine too, and was debating whether to point it to Doctor of Medicine or Allopathy. Having a disambig page at osteopathic medicine and allopathic medicine should clarify things. I'll give this a few more days for more opinions and then I'll do the moves. --Scott Alter 19:25, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a good solution for both. Antelan talk 19:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

LactoseTI, I agree that the allopathic and osteopathic articles should complement each other. However, they currently do not. There currently is no "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine" article to parallel Doctor of Medicine. This article currently at Osteopathic medicine is mostly about the DO degree and not about the medicine, so it would be better suited as "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine". Every other academic degree offered has its own article, and DO should have one too. Rather than start a new one to overly complicated an already complicated article schema, I believe that renaming the article is the best thing to do.

This leaves articles titled "osteopathy" and "allopathic medicine" that need to be complementary. Either osteopathy should be renamed to "osteopathic medicine" or allopathic medicine should be renamed to "allopathy". In either case, there needs to be a slight expansion of osteopathy in the US in the current osteopathy article, which is currently lacking (in the current osteopathic medicine article too). I think the osteopathy article is still applicable to DOs, but osteopaths in the US are licensed physicians, whereas in other countries they have lesser training. Even though the medicine practiced by MDs is most commonly referred to as allopathic medicine, I favor renaming "allopathic medicine" to "allopathy". This is because of the current focus of the article, which is the terminology and history of the word allopath - not about the medicine practiced. As Antelan mentioned above, disambiguation pages at "allopathic medicine" and "osteopathic medicine" should some of the confusion that having articles about "osteopathic medicine" and "osteopathy" cause.

LactoseTI, if you still have objections, could you please elaborate more so we can discuss the possibilities. I am open for suggestions. The articles about medical education need to be revamped, and opposing changes without any reasoning will not accomplish anything. --Scott Alter 16:20, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Another possibility would be to split this article into "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine" and "osteopathy". The content not directly pertinent to D.O. would fit in with the US definition of osteopathy. This article would be moved to "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine" and the info about osteopathic medicine specific to the US could be moved into osteopathy. Any opinions out there? I know lots of people are watching this page as indicated by the MCAT scores discussion! --Scott Alter 15:54, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Here is an outline for those who are not also watching Talk:Allopathic medicine:

An article about the term allopathy, its pejorative origins, and its contradistinction to homeopathic medicine, its non-pejorative uses (etc.)
Doctor of medicine
An article about the title and the attributes of those who possess it
An article about the term and its usage in and out of the USA
Doctor of osteopathic medicine
An article about the title and the attributes of those who possess it

This plan can be accomplished by performing 2 steps:

  1. Rename Osteopathic medicineDoctor of Osteopathic Medicine (and possibly move/copy some content to osteopathy)
  2. Rename Allopathic medicineAllopathy

Doctor of Medicine and Osteopathy will remain as-is. --Scott Alter 20:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I think I understand Scott Alter's plan and I like it. You may also want to look at Doctor of Chiropractic which has been up to be merged into Chiropractic and just today got nominated for total deletion. I think following the same course there which you advise above would be most prudent. Thoughts? -- Levine2112 discuss 00:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The Chiropractic articles do seem to parallel this situation somewhat. You could equate "Doctor of Chiropractic" to "Doctor of Medicine" (or "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine") and "Chiropractic" to "Medicine" (or "Osteopathy"). Personally, I think that there should always be an article about the degree. It should mention the education, scope of practice, and history (if appropriate). Then, there should be an article about the type of medicine practiced. Chiropractic seems to be a good, complete article. Doctor of Chiropractic needs some work and references, but should not be deleted, in my opinion. Sections of "Chiropractic" relevant to the healthcare provider should be moved to "Doctor of Chiropractic" (maybe "Chiropractic’s approach to healthcare" and "Education, licensing, and regulation"). --Scott Alter 00:44, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
This is sound reasoning and excellent advice. Mind if I cut-and-paste it to those articles where there is discussion about merging/deleting the two articles? Or would you like to weigh in there? Thanks again. -- Levine2112 discuss 01:06, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I just voiced in at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Doctor of Chiropractic. Feel free to copy and paste the above where you see fit at Talk:Doctor of Chiropractic. That discussion has grown rampant, and I don't know where to enter. Maybe the AfD needs a new section there. I'll watch the page and respond if there are additional comments. --Scott Alter 01:23, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

This article has been renamed from Osteopathic medicine to Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis 09:06, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Osteopathic medicine project??

Any interest in starting a project, or at least a group for creating and editing articles related to Osteopathic medicine? Here's the Category:Osteopathic medicine. Please add to it, so we can at least know what pages we should be working on. OsteopathicFreak T ? 23:06, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


This article should be "disambiguated" from non-U.S. osteopaths (those who are authorized to practice manipulation only, no drugs or surgery, etc.). Also of note, "DO" in India apparently means "Diploma of Ophthalmology."Tcamdg 23:24, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Mediation suspended

It seems that one of the parties took a Wikibreak. It is most unfortunate to not have received any communication in this regard. This mediation cannot continue without the parties therefore has been suspended. Daoken 11:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


Would you please contact me regarding what happened with the mediation you requested from me ? Daoken 11:34, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


Would you give a look at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Quackwatch ? I am interested in your opinion Daoken 15:15, 27 August 2007 (UTC)