There are two different medical schools of thought recognized by the United States: 1) the main-stream, allopathic (M.D.) school of thought, and 2) the osteopathic (D.O.) school of thought. A bias, unfortunately, exists between the two medical philosophies. Many in the medical community, and the general public, perceive individuals with an M.D. degree to be higher in prestige than those with D.O. degrees. In order to combat this preconceived notion between M.D.s and D.O.s, both medical communities have recently announced their transition to a unified graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system, in order to ensure that all medical students, regardless of what medical school background, will be responsible and held to the same standards across the board. While this change is beneficial, I contend that more can be done to eliminate the prejudice between both medical schools of thought while improving healthcare services. I propose in this paper the potential benefit of combining the services of both a M.D. and D.O. professional in the same medical setting. This partnership could possibly assist the involvement of empathy in medical settings. A recent implosion of research has emerged in the past couple years about this concept that medicine combined with empathy and compassionate interactions can be beneficial to patient diagnosis and treatment. The public stigma, currently, is that doctors are neutral and passive toward their patients rather than empathetic and active in their approach and interactions. However, while medical students are taught to be empathetic, research has shown that some individuals are more empathy-inclined than others after medical school training. This perhaps can be caused by the fact that both philosophies educate about empathy differently and that both philosophies attract two different types of student personalities. Therefore, this paper will address three key ideas using current research and statistics: 1) a background on the two philosophies of medical education, 2) the definition and benefits of empathy in the medical field, and 3) the possibility of having both mainstream and osteopathic perspectives of medicine integrated in all sub-specialties of healthcare to improve practitioner-patient relations and improve physician mental and physical health.
Lai, Adriene Michelle
"Better Healthcare Achievable by Collaboration Between Two Medical Schools of Thought,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 9
, Article 5.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol9/iss1/5